When I recently noticed this salad recipe in the NYT and realized that I had all the ingredients in the house, I just had to make it! It was every bit as delicious as the recipe sounded. We love leeks, garbanzo beans and of course farro. In case you’re not familiar with farro, it’s an ancient variety of wheat and has a somewhat nutty flavor. Nutritionally it’s right up there with quinoa, the super grain. Currants are a type of tiny raisins. They’re often available in the bulk section of the grocery store. In a pinch you can use regular raisins. I cooked the garbanzo beans in my instant pot. Every time I use it I am glad that I no longer buy canned beans. Freshly cooked beans have a much better flavor and also texture. Before the instant pot I often used my slow cooker to cook dried beans. It also works really well but takes a little longer.
This was a rare instance where I just about followed the recipe from start to finish except for the amount of olive oil it called for. I reduced the oil from about one cup total in the original recipe to about a quarter of a cup here. That quarter cup was plenty of olive oil for my taste. The only other thing I changed was to leave out the celery leaves because I had none. If you have some just add them at the end with the farro.
This is a perfect salad for a picnic or potluck since there’s no dairy in it to go sour.
Roasted Leeks, Garbanzo Bean & Farro Salad
- 4 large leeks, washed thoroughly and sliced into thick half moons
- olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- about 3 to 4 cups cooked garbanzo beans (that would be 2 cans if using canned beans)
- 3 juicy lemons
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- crushed red chile flakes to taste
- 2 cups dry (uncooked) farro
- 1/2 cup chopped celery leaves
Preheat the oven to 425°.
Toss the leeks with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, salt and pepper.
Spread them out in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
When the oven’s hot, roast the leeks for 20 to 30 minutes.
They should be tender and a little charred and crispy in places.
When the leeks are done roasting put them into a large bowl.
Add the well drained (and rinsed if canned) garbanzo beans, 1/4 cup of lemon juice,
1 teaspoon salt, some chile flakes and 1/4 cup of olive oil.
Stir gently to blend everything and set it aside to marinate while you cook the farro.
Bring a good-sized pot of water to a boil.
Add a little salt and the farro to the water and cook for about 20 minutes.
Taste a few kernels now and then to check for doneness.
When tender, drain the farro well.
Add the grain to the garbanzo mixture along with the currants.
Combine all the ingredients well and taste.
Add a little more lemon juice and/or salt if needed.
This salad can be eaten warm, at room temperature or cold.
For a complete meal make a little salad to go with it.
This salad keeps extremely well for several days in the refrigerator
and I believe that the flavors actually improve after a day or two.
To freshen it up just add a little more fresh lemon juice!
P.S.: Greer, I really think you’d like this! 😉