Greek Farro Salad with Kozani Spiced Feta
Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a starter.
Here’s a cold weather version of the popular Greek salad with farro (an ancient grain) plus tomatoes roasted with oregano. It’s filling and hearty — and the Kozani Spice marinated feta makes it dinner party worthy!
2½ cups cooked farro (kept warm)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
4 scallions sliced
2 radishes, sliced
½ cup minced parsley leaves
¼ cup minced mint leaves
1 lemon, zest
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 batch Curio’s Lemony Vinaigrette (see below)
1 batch Oregano-Roasted Tomatoes (see below)
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 batch Kozani Spice Marinated Feta (see below)
Toasted walnuts or pine nuts, to garnish
Put the farro into a large mixing bowl. Add the fresh vegetables, herbs, lemon zest and ½ cup of the vinaigrette. Mix well, add salt and pepper to taste. Add the roasted tomatoes and gently stir to distribute them through the salad without breaking them up. Let the salad rest for at least 15 minutes so that the flavors meld.
Just before serving, dress the chopped romaine very lightly with a little more of the vinaigrette and arrange it on a platter. Mound the farro salad on top of the lettuce. Strew the marinated feta chunks over the salad and garnish with nuts.
Curio’s Lemony Vinaigrette
You’ll want to try this bright, citrusy vinaigrette on green salads, too! Try variations of your own by adding herbs (dried or fresh) — or make a creamy dressing by whizzing the vinaigrette in the blender with a bit of chèvre cheese.
6 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or avocado
5 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 lemon, zest and 2 tablespoons juice
1 medium clove garlic, finely minced, grated, or crushed to a paste
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
½–1 teaspoon honey or other sweetener
Pinch sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
Put all the ingredients into a high sided bowl or quart jar. Use a whisk or immersion blender to combine the ingredients until the dressing is creamy and emulsified. (Alternately, whiz on high speed in a blender.) Taste and add more salt, vinegar, lemon juice, or honey as needed.
Tightly sealed, the dressing keeps in the fridge for a week or more. If it separates, just give it a vigorous shake and the dressing will re-emulsify. If the olive oil has congealed with the cold, set the jar of vinaigrette in a bowl of hot tap water for a few minutes before shaking.
Oregano Roasted Tomatoes
Winter tomatoes aren’t as wonderful as summer tomatoes, but roasting them improves their flavor and adding a touch of honey brings out their sweetness.
1 pint grape tomatoes, washed and dried
2 teaspoons olive oil
Pinch dried Greek oregano
1 teaspoon honey
Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and pile them in the center of a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle them with the oil and use your hands to toss them gently, coating them (and the pan with oil). Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, in a single layer. Crush the oregano between your fingers and sprinkle it over the tomatoes. Sprinkle them with salt and drizzle the honey over them. Roast for 40–45 minutes, until the tomatoes are almost collapsed and have caramelized edges. Let them cool to room temperature before using. The tomatoes can be made up to a day ahead.
Kozani Spice Marinated Feta Cheese
7 ounces Greek sheep’s or goat’s milk feta cheese, drained
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Kozani Spice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Put the block of feta into a wide bowl or glass pie plate. Drizzle half the lemon juice over it, then flip the block over and drizzle the remaining juice over other side. Sprinkle half the Kozani Spice on top of the block, then flip it over and repeat on the other side. Drizzle the oil over the block. Let stand for 20 minutes, then crumble the cheese into bite-sized chunks and let it marinate for another 20 minutes (or up to overnight, covered and refrigerated).