Dear Reader, despite the way that it looks, I don't often go out to functions and parties. When I'm not travelling, I'm usually found at home, my face in front of my computer or at the window of my kitchen chopping up something or peering into my oven. One night I attended a function with Mr NQN where I was talking with a girl that I've met a few times before.
When she saw Mr NQN she turned to me and said "Wow. Well done!" and held her hand up for a high five. I returned it not quite knowing what she meant so I asked her.
"I mean nice work snagging him!" she said eyeballing him appreciatively.
I thought the sentiment was nice but I've never been congratulated for snagging anyone like a prize!
Mr NQN returned me the compliment one day when I gave him this salad. It was heavily inspired by one that I had at Cuckoo Callay in Newtown. It was simple but delicious and since I've got a big obsession with roasting vegetables so I knew that I'd want to make a version of it.
Mine is simplified and really it's just a matter of cooking farro and roasting vegetables. Truth be told, I did both the night before just heating up the vegetables the next morning for lunch. The sweet carrots and onion need very little other than a sprinkling of salt and the yogurt and farro give it weight while the almonds and parsley add more dimensions of flavour and crunch.
So tell me Dear Reader, would you take that as a nice compliment? Have you ever been congratulated on something odd?
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Roasted Carrot Salad
Serves 4 as a side salad or 2 as a main salad
- 1 bunch Dutch carrots
- 2 purple carrots
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 50g/1.7 ozs farro
- 1/4 cup flaked almonds, toasted*
- 2 heaped tablespoons natural yogurt
- A small handful of parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
*To toast flaked almonds, bake in 160C/320F for 5 minutes.
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 220C/428F and line a baking tray with parchment. Wash the carrots and cut the tops off the purple carrots. The Dutch carrots are smaller and more tender so you can leave an inch of greens on them. Cut the purple carrots into batons, about the size of the Dutch carrots so that they roast at the same rate. Place the carrots and onion on the prepared tray and drizzle with oil. Bake for 40 minutes until caramelised, turning over with tongs half way through. Season the carrots with salt and black pepper.
Step 2 - Meanwhile put 3/4 cup of water onto boil in a small saucepan and add the farro. Simmer for 25 minutes and then drain and rinse in a sieve.
Step 2 - Using a soup spoon, spread a layer of the natural yogurt on the bottom of a serving plate. Top with the farro, then the carrots and onions and then the almonds and parsley.