With a bounty of fresh basil from my mom, I was about to make pesto when a recipe for a basil vinaigrette caught my eye. As I was putting it together, I made the executive decision to add a tomato I had just washed and cored and cut back on the oil. Worked like a charm!
|please excuse the food smudges on the bowl... :/|
While I thought about using it on a salad, I already had some roasted eggplant and cooked farro in the fridge and an idea was born. Some chickpeas for protein and goat cheese of course, and I had one tasty lunch :)
Farro, Eggplant & Chickpeas w/Tomato-Basil Vinaigrette
Dressing adapted from Simply Recipes
While I split my dressing into 2 servings, I think the same amount could be used for a 3 portions of this grain salad. I recommend starting with a smaller amount and adding as much as you see fit. You could also use extras to dress some grilled vegetables or your favorite salad!
For the dressing:
1t dijon mustard
1/2 shallot, chopped
1/2t evaporated cane juice (sugar)
1/4c packed basil
2T champagne vinegar
2-3T extra virgin olive oil
1 small tomato
For the dish:
1/2c farro (spelt or wheat berries would be the closest sub, but I could see barley or quinoa working well here, too)
2-3 chinese eggplants (or any variety from your farmers market)
olive oil, for roasting the eggplant
salt and freshly ground pepper
1c chickpeas (1/2 of a can or cook your own), drained and rinsed
1-2oz goat cheese (or feta)
Cut eggplant into half-moons, then toss with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Eggplant takes up alot of oil, so you'll need a good glug. Roast in a preheated oven at 400-450deg until starting to get nice and crispy brown on the edges. This can be done ahead of time, simply refrigerate until you're assembling the dish.
Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Salt water, then add farro and simmer until grains are cooked (they start to split open and shouldn't be too starchy, although they do retain a little bit of a bite), ~15-20min or so.
While farro is cooking, prepare the dressing by adding all ingredients into your favorite blender or food processor. Blend until well combined.
When farro is cooked, drain excess water. Add farro back to the pot along with the chickpeas and roasted eggplant. Drizzle in 1/2 of the dressing, toss to combine. Taste, and add more/rest of the dressing or adjust seasoning with some salt and pepper. Serve, topped with crumbled goat cheese!