But February helps to kick-start a new round of gatherings. The Superbowl, the Oscars, and dinner dates are all on the horizon. My soul is looking forward to some good, quality friend time.
If you have some evening get-togethers in your future this would make an excellent lunch before heading out. It is hearty without being overly filling. Unlike a lot of salads the farro actually helps it to feel like a substantial meal. I love the texture of farro--just enough bite. It pairs nicely with earthy beets and tart clementines, and the nuts and cheese add saltiness and crunch. This recipe makes a large batch, but it keeps well in the fridge and is wonderful as leftovers.
Winter Farro Salad
1 c. farro
2 1/2 c. chicken broth (or vegetable broth to make vegetarian)
8 small beets (about 1 1/2" diameter)
3/4 c. Romano cheese
1/2 c. toasted slivered almonds
2 TB chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
Mix the farro and chicken broth together into a medium saucepan. Heat over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low to low to bring the liquid to a simmer and cover. Cook until the farro is tender, about 30 minutes. If there is still a lot of liquid after cooking, drain off of the farro.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Peel and clean the beets and then add to the water and boil until tender, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from the water. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, chop the beets into bite sized pieces.
Peel the clementines and divide up the segments, removing any small seeds that may be present.
In a large bowl toss together the farro, beets, clementines, cheese, almonds, parsley and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste and serve at room temperature or chilled.