A vibrant roasted broccoli salad with chewy farro, creamy chèvre, and tangy dried cranberries that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner or a holiday side.
Thanks to a still-bountiful late fall farmers market, I have a fridge full of beautiful greens and brassicas. So before we jump into full Christmas cookie and holiday party mode, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate local produce while I still can. I promise to make cookies next week!
This excellent roasted broccoli salad has a few key elements: perfectly roasted broccoli, chewy farro, toasted seeds or nuts, and dried fruit for color, sweetness, and tang. And a classic, Dijon-heavy vinaigrette to tie it all together.
Roasted Broccoli: Cooked Just Right
The broccoli should have crisp, golden brown edges, but be cooked just enough to retain it’s vibrant hue and have some snap in the bite. To do this, preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and when it’s nice and hot, roast the broccoli for about 15 – 20 minutes.
Adding Texture and Flavor
While the broccoli cooks, you can focus on the other elements like chewy farro and toasted seeds or nuts.
Farro lends heft to the salad and makes for a more sating salad. Here, I cooked the farro, let it cool, and then toasted it briefly in olive oil. This step gives the farro crispy edges and extra chew.
Traditional farro can take as long as 50 minutes to cook, but many stores now sell a par-cooked farro that’s ready in 10 minutes. You can use leftover farro or even swap in another chewy grain like barley or quinoa.
The crunch and saltiness of toasted pumpkin seeds makes a nice addition to the salad. Swap in pecans, almonds, or whatever seeds or nuts you have on hand. When toasting, take care not to overcook! 1 – 2 minutes over medium heat is all it takes.
Roasted Broccoli Salad: Bringing It All Together
To serve, arrange the roasted broccoli in a wide bowl or platter. Add the farro in spoonfuls, and continue to layer the toasted seeds, dried cranberries, and crumbled cheese, drizzling with vinaigrette as you go. Roasted broccoli salad is best served warm, but it’s delicious at room temperature as well. And any leftovers make for a very nice desk lunch.
More roasted salad recipe inspiration:
- Romesco-Roasted Cauliflower
- Roasted Carrot Salad with Cracked Pepper and Cumin Crème Fraîche
- Roasted Romanesco with Meyer Lemon and Sunflower Seed Dressing
- 1 pound broccoli crowns, cut into 1-inch florets
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- 1/2 cup farro, cooked to al dente
- 1/3 cup raw, hulled pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries, sweetened or unsweetened
- 2 ounces chevre, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Toss broccoli with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Roast 15 - 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, and keeping a close eye toward the end of cook time.
Set a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Add pumpkin seeds and toast 1 - 2 minutes or just until seeds are golden and fragrant. Remove to a paper towel-lined bowl and sprinkle with sea salt.
If you’d like to toast the cooked farro, edge heat up to medium-high and add the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil to the same skillet. Add the farro and saute, nudging the grains around a bit, until golden and crisp, 3 - 4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
To make the vinaigrette, combine shallots, lemon juice, vinegar, and sea salt in a medium jar. Set aside for 5 minutes. Add Dijon and honey, and then slowly whisk in the olive oil.
Arrange salad in a wide, shallow bowl. Add broccoli and spoonfuls of farro (I think the farro looks best in distinct clumps rather than scattered through the salad), and drizzle with vinaigrette. Add sea salt to taste. Gently toss with pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and chevre. Finish with an extra drizzle of vinaigrette and black pepper to taste.
Salad is best served warm, but can be served at room temp. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a day.