Farro With Carrots, Preserved Lemon & Crispy Chickpeas

March 30, 2023
3 Ratings
Photo by Melina Hammer
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Serves 3 to 4
Author Notes

This hearty grain bowl delivers both deep and bright flavors, thanks to browned carrots, sautéed alliums, and preserved lemon. Cooking the onions and carrots before adding the liquid deepens the overall flavor—thanks to charred bits on the bottom of the pot—making for an extra-savory dish once all the elements meld together. When serving, the final (and fantastic) addition of crispy chickpeas takes this dish to repeat status. This dish is vegan, and works great as a side or a main. Roasted chickpeas are best day-of, as humidity in the air undoes their crispness the longer they sit. For best texture, store crispy chickpeas uncovered in a shallow bowl at room temperature and use them up within a couple of days. —Melina Hammer

What You'll Need
  • For the farro:
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for sautéing
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound small carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the flat side of a knife
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock, divided
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon za'atar seasoning
  • 1/4 preserved lemon skin, thinly sliced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo chile flakes or chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more to garnish
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely sliced, to garnish
  • For the crispy chickpeas:
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  1. For the farro:
  2. Place a heavy bottomed braiser or small Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Drizzle olive oil and add onions. Sauté for 7 minutes, or until translucent and collapsed. Using a wooden spoon, move the onions to one side of the pan. Add the carrots and garlic to the other side. Cook carrots for 7 minutes, or until browned in parts, turning occasionally (add another drizzle of oil as needed).
  3. Stir in the farro. Add 2 cups stock, tomatoes and their juices, za'atar, sliced preserved lemon, chile flakes, and pepper. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and turn heat to low. Simmer farro for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid and give the mixture a stir to recirculate the remaining cooking liquid and break up the tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes more, then stir again. (Some of the mixture may have stuck to the bottom of the pan.) Add the remaining ½ cup stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to free the crust, then re-cover and turn the heat off.
  4. Fold the spinach into the hot farro mixture and return the cover. Repeat folding in the spinach once more, 7 minutes or so before the chickpeas are done cooking, to help the leaves fully soften into the mixture.
  1. For the crispy chickpeas:
  2. Heat the oven to 400°F. Strain chickpeas in a colander and briefly rinse. Transfer chickpeas to a tea towel. Pat them dry using a second tea towel—the drier they are, the better they'll crisp in the oven. Peel off any loose skins. Allow the chickpeas to air dry further as you mix the spice blend.
  3. Combine spices in a small bowl and stir together. Transfer chickpeas to a bowl, drizzle them with the olive oil, then sprinkle the spice blend to coat. Toss the chickpeas and the spices together. Transfer the chickpeas to a parchment-lined sheet pan and roast for 35 minutes, or until crispy. They will feel a bit hollow when they are ready.
  4. Serve the farro and crispy chickpeas: Transfer the chickpeas to a shallow bowl and bring to the table. Divide the farro mixture onto plates, scatter with chives and season with pepper. Top with crispy chickpeas and eat immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • creamcheese
Melina is the author of 'A Year at Catbird Cottage' with Ten Speed Press. She grows an heirloom and pollinator garden and forages wild foods at her namesake Hudson Valley getaway, Catbird Cottage. Melina loves serving curated menus for guests from near and far seeking community amidst the hummingbirds, grosbeaks, finches, and the robust flavors of the seasons.

2 Reviews

creamcheese April 3, 2023
Loved this recipe with a few caveats- pushing the onions to the side while I charred the carrots didn’t work, my onions burned before I got a char (so next time I think I’d char, remove the carrot and then start the onion) and my farro package said 35 min simmer and 10 minute rest- which I followed opposed to the shorter time here as it wasn’t yet tender. But I loved the savoriness of the sauce, with the sweet carrots and crunchy spiced chickpeas. Hit all the notes I could hope for in a filling vegetarian dish -
I’m making a decent compensation from home p $60k/week , which was astonishing under a year prior I was jobless in a horrendous economy. I was honored with these guidelines and presently it’s my obligation to show kindness and share it with Everyone,
𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗦𝗲𝗲 𝗠𝘆 𝗡𝗮𝗺𝗲 𝗖𝗵𝗲𝗰𝗸 𝗩𝗶𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗲,