Farro with Charred Vegetables, Spiced Chickpeas & Halloumi

This is an easy one dish meal with all kinds of healthy and delicious ingredients in it. It is easy to make and simply requires cooking the farro, roasting the vegetables and adding grilled halloumi cheese. These ingredients are then assembled on a platter along with a few other garnishes like artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and olives, then drizzled with a tahini-yogurt dressing. It is so easy and so good for you!

Halloumi is a dry, salty cheese that you grill in a skillet to brown to a beautiful golden color. I found it at a Citarella’s, but  I am sure many specialty markets carry it. If you cannot find it, feta cheese would be a good alternative.

As is usual wth my meals, this is a vegetarian meal – not a completely vegan one. Just like most of my recipes, you could easily omit the halloumi cheese, or substitute it with vegan cheese.  (I know there are some really good artisan nut cheeses available now). Instead of the yogurt in the tahini dressing, you could add coconut or almond milk to thin it out and make it creamy. There are so many other great ingredients in here that you would not even miss the dairy!

Ingredients:

3 – 4 cups of cooked farro  (cook according to directions and set aside)

  • 5 – 6 small carrots (cut lengthwise in half)
  • 1/2 red onion (cut into wedges)
  • 3 – 4 small sweet peppers (cut into slices)
  • 1  1/2 cups of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup of garbanzo beans (chick peas)
  • a few tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste

Garnishes:

  • 1/2 cup of artichoke hearts (cut into large pieces)
  • 1/2 cup of halloumi cheese (sliced into thin pieces)
  • 1/2 cup of mixed olives
  • 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomato strips
  • 1/2 cup of radicchio
  •  1/2 cup of watercress or greens

Tahini-Yogurt Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of tahini
  • 1 Tb. of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 clove of minced garlic (or 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • add water to get the desired creamy consistency

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* Cook the farro according to the directions on the bag.  (The farro should absorb all the water and be tender and yet still chewy). Stir in a little olive oil and salt & pepper. Set aside.

* Slice the halloumi cheese and fry it in a dry skillet until it begins to bubble and turn golden brown. Flip it and do the same to the other side. (This happens in a few minutes, so be careful not to “over brown” it)  Set aside.

* Stir together the Tahini-Yogurt Dressing until smooth and creamy and set aside.

* Spread the sliced vegetables & the chick peas on a flat baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil.  Rub the oil around onto the vegetables to make sure they are fully covered. Do the same with the the chick peas adding the cumin to them.  Place in a 425 degree oven and roast everything until the vegetables are tender and slightly charred on the ends. (about 15 – 20 minutes)

* Place the cooked farro on a platter. Arrange the roasted vegetables over that, and then add the garnishes & the cheese.  Drizzle with the Tahini- Yogurt sauce. Add a little extra salt & pepper to the top and serve!

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This serves 3 -4 people depending whether it is the main dish or a side dish. It is a very satisfying meal with many colorful, healthy vegetables. The salty halloumi and the creamy tahini dressng add a delicious touch!

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Enjoy!

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