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Author Notes: This is a substantial side dish or vegetarian (vegan if you use agave nectar for the honey) main course and makes a great next-day lunch. It goes great with roast chicken or lamb, and I've also just thrown chopped leftover roast chicken into it. I like the spiced roasted cauliflower and fennel, but if you don't like spices with fennel, you could use red onion instead. You can also vary the spices to your taste and depending on what you have on hand - honestly the amounts given are very approximate, so you can make it more/less spicy if you like. A note about the farro - I use Bluebird Grains Emmer Farro that I get at a local farmers' market and it seems to take a bit longer to cook than other brands I've used in the past, so you may want to check your farro after 30 minutes. —Arathi
Serves 4 as a main course, 6-8 as a side
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 bulb fennel, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1.5 cups farro
- 3-4 green onions, white and dark green parts, sliced
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon pimente d'espelette
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the cauliflower and fennel with the cumin, pimente d'espelette, turmeric, paprika, nutmeg, olive oil, lemon zest and 1/4 tsp of the salt in a large bowl.
- Spread the cauliflower mixture on a baking sheet and roast until the cauliflower is brown and starting to caramelize on top, about 30 minutes.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, cook the farro: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add farro. Cook until farro is tender but still chewy, about 35 minutes.
- When the cauliflower is done, transfer it to a large serving bowl and stir in the honey. Drain the farro when it is done and add to the cauliflower with the black beans and green onions and mix together.
- Stir the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl. Pour over the pilaf and toss together. Taste and adjust for seasoning and serve. This is good hot or warm and I've even eaten it cold.
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The summer braise worth turning on the oven for
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7 food-filled honeymoons.
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