Carrot, chickpea & farro salad

Just as the entire world was born from nothingness, sometimes I manage to whip up truly tasty dishes when I have what seems like no food on hand.

Like Sunday night.

I really didn’t want to go to the store, but I needed lunches for the week. I was thinking hummus, but realized I had only two carrots for dipping. Then I remembered this recipe, and went on a riff with it. I’m pretty pleased with the results.

What follows isn’t really a recipe, per se, so much as a guide to inspire you when you find your refrigerator and cabinets lacking, but have some common staples on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup farro (AKA spelt berries or wheatberries; or use cousous, or quinoa, or rice …)
  • 1/2 cup dry chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup dry lentils (I used black)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 onion
  • Spices – salt & pepper, pepper flakes, cinnamon, cumin, curry — ginger would have been great but I didn’t have any. A little cardamom might be interesting.
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (I used chopped apricots and figs)
  • Lemon juice
  • 4 green onions (and any fresh herbs you might have; my parsley was looking weak so I omitted it, but that, cilantro, mint, maybe dill would be good in here)
  • Slivered almonds

Method:

  • Cook the farro.
  • Re-hydrate and cook the chickpeas and lentils.
  • Mix together the beans and farro. (I really only did this at this point so that I could re-use one of the pots for the veggies.)
  • Heat some oil or butter (I used coconut oil) and sautee the carrots and onions with salt, pepper, and lots of spices. You’re going to want to overdo it here so that the flavors permeate the grains and beans when you mix everything together.
  • When the carrots and onion are almost soft, add the dried fruits and heat through until they start to plump a bit. You can add some water or broth (or wine?) here if you want to dried fruits to get juicier.
  • Add the vegetable mixture to the grain-bean mixture.
  • Deglaze the veggie pan with lemon juice. Stir that in.
  • Stir in chopped green onions, and any herbs you’re using.
  • Stir everything to combine, taste and adjust seasoning.
  • When you serve, top with slivered almonds, more herbs if you’ve got em, and maybe a couple olives as a garnish.
  • Spice it up with: sambal oelek or sriracha.

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