Roasted Cauliflower Farro Mediterranean Salad
A few weeks ago I found myself in Monterey, CA looking for lunch and came across this cute little cafe called Cafe Lumiere. I was hungry, but wanted to have something light so I chose their simple Mediterranean Bowl. It was so good! When I came home I knew I wanted to recreate it for a light dinner and this Roasted Cauliflower Farro Mediterranean Salad is the result!
This recipe is infinitely flexible. Here are some ways you could change it up:
- Use any sturdy grain instead of farro. Barley, quinoa (a seed – I know), or brown rice would all work.
- Add thinly sliced steak or shredded rotisserie chicken for extra protein.
- Add other roasted veggies like chickpeas, winter squashes, or broccoli.
- Top with more big-flavor Mediterranean pantry items like sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and olives.
So this version should be seen as a starting point and a base. Personally, I really like the spicy yogurt sauce, but a drizzle of good olive oil and flakey salt would work just as well.
- Preheat oven to 450 F˚. Use a paring knife to cut florets off the cauliflower head. Lay out florets on a baking sheet (line with parchment paper for easier cleanup). Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Roast cauliflower for 20-25 minutes until tender and charred in spots.
- Cook farro in lightly salted water (I use 4 cups of water, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt per cup of farro). Bring to a simmer, add the farro, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until tender – maybe 20-25 minutes. Once farro is cooked through and tender, drain off any extra water, remove from heat, cover, and let steam for 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork.
- To make sauce, add all sauce ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Adjust to your liking. If you don’t have a food processor you can finely mince the garlic and pepper and stir everything together. It won’t be a smooth, but the flavors will still work.
- To build your salad, mince some baby spinach and stir into your slightly cooled farro (if the farro is too hot it will wilt the spinach). Divide farro between bowls. Top with roasted cauliflower, avocado, and artichokes.
- Garnish bowls with pomegranate seeds, fresh mint, sunflower seeds, and a heavy drizzle of yogurt sauce.
Spicy Yogurt Sauce for Mediterranean Salad
I kind of made this up on the fly but it turned out great. It almost has a tex-mex feel to it thanks to the cumin and Serrano pepper, but believe it or not it works well with the salad bowls.
Blend everything together in a food processor and then taste and adjust. You might need an extra pinch of salt or maybe another splash of lemon. Make it your own!
Making the Farro Mediterranean Salad Bowls
The only things you need to cook for this recipe are the cauliflower and the farro. I just broke my purple cauliflower into florets and drizzled with olive oil. Roast at 400˚ for about 25 minutes until they are charred in spots.
Cook the farro in lightly salted water until it’s tender, again about 20-25 minutes. When the farro is tender, you can drain off extra water and let it steam in the pan for a few minutes.
One trick I like to use to lighten up farro a bit is to sliver-cut some baby spinach and mix it in once the farro has cooled a bit. Gives it kind of a lighter fresh texture.
Time to top these salad bowls! I loaded mine up with roasted cauliflower, marinated arichokes, avocado, and fresh mint.
But wait! More toppings!
Drizzle on some of the dressing (or serve it on the side), plus I added some sunflower seeds and pomegranate seeds for extra crunch and color.
You can feel good about serving and eating this Farro Mediterranean Salad any time!
Here are a few other great salads!
- Scallion and Bacon Macaroni Salad
- Easy Falafel Salad
- Hoisin Chicken Soba Salad
- Summer Peach Spinach Salad from Ambitious Kitchen