During those times when you miss far away family, it’s good to have friends that are like family. I consider myself blessed to have so many wonderful friends to reach out to for help and suggestions. Not long after returning from sunny Florida, my travels continued. I found myself in a cold and windy San Francisco visiting a good friend. It was exciting to experience the beauty of Sonoma County, the hilly landscape and green wineries of Napa. The dense fog, breathtaking cable car rides and views of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge were interspersed with long conversations and late nights with a dear friend. The trip was a good one, but eating out all the time and sleeping odd hours made me crave something healthy and light when I got home.
With summer nearly here, healthy recipes are easy to find, as everyone focuses on getting in shape to enjoy the sunshine. During the month of May, I drew inspiration from Instagram posts by rainydaybites as she experimented with clean living and healthy recipes from “Clean Slate” by the editors of Martha Stewart Living. Craving healthy choices after travelling and eating out so much lately, and ready for healthy recipes to start my summer, I decided to try a few of the recipes too, and fell in love with this recipe for farro and roasted sweet potato herb salad.
Farro is starting to gain popularity in the United States, but the Italians have recognized its value for many years. Farro is an ancient grain, making it rich in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. What are ancient grains? The name says it all: they are grains that have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Unlike more modern refined grains, the germ and bran are not removed. This makes ancient grains easy to digest, and often allows people with wheat allergies to tolerate them, even though they are not gluten-free. Farro’s nutty flavor and al dente texture makes it a delicious addition to soups and salads.
I have adapted the original farro and roasted sweet potato herb salad recipe slightly to suit my own tastes and to take advantage of my flourishing herb garden at home. My mint and rosemary are growing in abundance, and I’ve always loved the combination of rosemary and sweet potato. The addition of mint to the combination of herbs I used in place of dill gives the dish a fresh clean feeling. I’ve also substituted herb mix salad in place of plain arugula. There are so many clean and light flavors in this salad; I’ve dressed it with just oil and lemon to not overpower the fresh tastes. Farro can take a long time to cook, but many stores carry pre-cooked packets you can use if you’re in a hurry.
- 1 pound sweet potato, diced into 1-2 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3-4 unpeeled garlic cloves
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup farro
- ½ cup fresh chopped herbs (mint, thyme, dil)
- ¼ cup micro greens
- 1 cup herb salad mix or arugula
- Coarse sea salt
- Fresh crushed black pepper
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- On a baking sheet mix potatoes and garlic cloves and drizzle 2 teaspoons of oil on it.
- Sprinkle some salt, pepper and rosemary.
- Toss to combine and bake for 30-40 minutes until tender and caramelized.
- Meanwhile bring some 4-5 cups water to a boil and put farro in it.
- Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Drain and immediately toss with some salt and 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Peel the baked garlic and mash it with fork, or you can use mortar and pestle.
- Mix the remaining oil with zest and lime juice to make a dressing.
- Add all the greens, herbs, mashed garlic and baked potatoes to farro and toss to combine.
- Drizzle oil and lime juice dressing and season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with some micro greens and edible flowers.
- Arugula can be used instead of herb mix to give a sharp flavor in this farro and roasted sweet potato herb salad.
!!!Eat Healthy & Stay Fit!!!