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Fresh Farro Grain Salad

Farro and Root Vegetable Salad

Posted: Friday, Nov. 09, 2012

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

CChef Troy Gagliardo is a self-taught chef that has parlayed his years of kitchen experience into many other culinary ventures. Including a proprietary spice line, cook books, commercials, food styling, cooking/restaurant columns, endorsements, cooking classes, and live appearances. Troy has been voted as one of the Charlotte’s Top Five Chefs two years in a row by Creative Loafing readers. Chef Troy has appeared in two national commercials with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and joined him for a media tour day just days before Dale Jr. won his second Daytona 500 to start the 2014 NASCAR season. For the past seven years, Chef Troy has appeared each week on Charlotte's morning show WCCB News Rising, cooking his way through "Troy’s Everyday Eats". Filmed live each week at the WCCB Charlotte studios, Chef Troy teaches his unique style of food with a simple Warren publishing recently signed Chef Troy to publish his new cookbook entitled Pseudo Southern-a playful twist on the art of southern cooking, which has been endorsed by Top Chef Alum and best-selling author Fabio Viviani and also star of “A Chef’s Life” Vivian Howard. Fabio said of Pseudo Southern, "Southern food is my second home. It's as close to my heart like Italy is, and that is why I love Troy's recipes so much. They remind me of the childhood I would have had if I was born in the south”. Vivian had this to say, “Troy’s take on southern food is just left of center, fun, and refreshing. His recipes are approachable that even the most jaded cook will be intrigued to try.” Chef Troy is also a free-lance food writer for the Charlotte Observer and Examiner.com and lives in Mooresville, NC with his wife Tracy, of twenty-three years, and their two daughters, Ally and Isabella. He can be seen every Tuesday morning from 7-9 am on WCCB News Rising.

There is always so much excitement about spring asparagus or summer tomatoes; but where is the love for fall root veggies?

Carrots, parsnips, beets and turnips are turning up at farmers markets (yes there are farmers markets this time of year too) in abundance and are full in flavor just for a few short months of the year. Now I know that a juicy tomato brings visions of a Caprese salad, accompaniment for pasta, pizza, tossed salads and the list goes on, but if you give this recipe a try and keep an open mind (and palate) you will look forward to roasting fall root vegetables every year.

The addition of farro (barley) makes this a comfortable classic that will stir up memories each and every fall. This salad is packed full of flavor and goodies to make it way more than just a side dish. Soak the farro for at least 20 minutes before cooking to help open the grain for the readiness of a gentle simmer that will result in a soft grain with the slightest of chew.

Try this around the holiday table, warm, room temperature, or even cold and let you guest “fall” into something just a bit different this year.

Roasted Root Vegetable Farro Salad


• ½ pound Farro, bulgur wheat or your favorite grain, rice or pasta
• ¼ cup carrot, peeled and medium dice
• ¼ cup parsnip, peeled and medium dice
• ¼ cup red beet, peeled and medium dice
• ¼ cup turnip, peeled and medium dice
• 6 cloves fresh garlic, skin on
• 1 cup spinach, chopped
• 8-10 sundried tomatoes, packed in oil and sliced in thin strips
• reserved sundried tomato oil to drizzle
• kosher salt and black pepper to taste
• white balsamic vinegar to drizzle


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Soak Farro for 25 minutes in cold water, while starting on roasted vegetables.

3. Place beets in a double layered piece of aluminum foil.

4. Drizzle with a little of the sun-dried tomato oil, season with salt/pepper.

5. Fold up edges, add garlic cloves on top, add ¼ cup of water, sealed foil tightly and place on an iron skillet.

6. Place carrot, parsnip, turnip in a mixing bowl, drizzle with sun-dried tomato oil and season with salt/pepper.

7. Add vegetables to skillet, place in oven and roast, stirring occasionally until tender, about 30 minutes.

8. Leave foil pack of beets and garlic sealed during roasting.

9. While roasting vegetables drain farro and place in a stock pot.

10. Cover with about 5 cups of water, bring to a boil, leave uncovered.

11. Lower heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, Farro should be soft but still have a slight chew.

12. Remove vegetables from oven, open foil pack remove garlic and set aside.

13. Place roasted vegetables in a mixing bowl, drizzle with a little vinegar.

14. Squeeze garlic out of skin, place in bowl with vegetables, stir and cover to keep warm.

15. Drain farro, place in a mixing bowl with roasted vegetables, add spinach, sun-dried tomatoes stir to combine.

16. Drizzle with a little more sun-dried tomato oil, vinegar to taste.

17. Season with salt and pepper to taste, stir to combine and serve.

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