I’m sorry, I know I have a broccoli rubble problem. But you see, broccoli rubble in itself was a solution to another problem and perhaps we’ve created a monster, but it’s a delicious monster. We are going to keep it.
Let me rewind and explain. Problem: Two children (not the aforementioned monsters, or at least not yet today) who do eat different vegetables at different times but really only reliably both eat broccoli each time. Plus two parents who are growing bored with eating steamed (because they haven’t yet seen the light of crispy roasted broccoli, although they are wrong and we tell them this often) broccoli all the time. Solution: Give it a fine chop (rubble it, if you will) and sauté it in olive oil with a heap of garlic, as many red pepper flakes as we can get away with, lemon zest, salt, and black pepper and then finish it with fresh lemon juice and a fistful of grated pecorino romano (particularly excellent here for its pungent saltiness) for a mixture that’s zinging with enough flavor you’d eat it from a fork with nothing else.
But it’s so good, we prefer to stretch it into dinner as often as possible. We’ve finished it with these pangrattato crumbs and a crispy egg, or when at room temperature, a ball of burrata. (Which is becoming the new #putaneggonit, at least when we find it for a reasonable price.) We’ve tucked it between a piece of toast and slice of provolone for broccoli melts. We’ve put it on top of a slick of garlicky béchamel with torn mozzarella on top for broccoli pizzas. And now there’s this: a farro salad that’s as good warm as it is at room temperature, which means it can be ready for all the weekend picnics and potlucks to come, or for dinner any night of the week. Such as this one.
One year ago: Confetti Cookies, Roasted Carrots with Avocado and Yogurt, and Almond Rhubarb Picnic Bars
Two years ago: Mushrooms and Greens with Toast, Toasted Marshamallow Milkshake, and Fake Shack Burger
Three years ago: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars, Five Egg Sandwiches, and Soft Pretzel Buns
Four years ago: Japanese Vegetable Pancakes, Greek Salad with Lemon and Oregano, and Two Classic Sangrias
Five years ago: Warm, Crisp and a Little Melty Salad Croutons, Chocolate Buckwheat Cake, and Vidalia Onion Soup with Wild Rice
Six years ago: Leek Toasts with Blue Cheese, Vermontucky Lemonade, and Rhubarb Streusel Muffins
Seven years ago: Homemade Pop Tarts, Cabbage and Lime Salad with Roasted Peanuts, Leek Bread Pudding, Oatmeal Pancakes, Spring Asparagus Pancetta Hash, and Pecan Cornmeal Butter Cake
Eight years ago: Endive and Celery Salad with Fennel Vinaigrette, Rhubarb Cobbler, and Broccoli Slaw
Nine years ago: Jim Lahey’s Pizza Bianca, Brownie Roll-Out Cookies, Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad, and Martha’s Macaroni and Cheese
Ten years ago: Pickled Garlicky Red Peppers, Raspberry-Topped Lemon Muffins, and Homemade Oreos
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Cheesecake-Marbled Pumpkin Slab Pie and Brussels Sprouts Apple and Pomegranate Salad
1.5 Years Ago: Apple Cider Sangria and Date Feta and Red Cabbage Salad
2.5 Years Ago: Sticky Toffee Pudding, Pickled Cabbage Salad, and Pretzel Parker House Rolls
3.5 Years Ago: Cranberry-Orange Breakfast Buns, Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions, and Apple and Herb Stuffing for All Seasons
4.5 Years Ago: Granola-Crusted Nuts and Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Broccoli Rubble Farro Salad
I like broccolini for this because it gets and stays more green when you cook it, even when it’s hit with lemon juice. Regular broccoli works just fine, however, there’s just more risk of discoloration once you add lemon juice. When using regular broccoli, I like to peel the stems so that they cook as quickly as the florets.
I boil the broccoli here for ease — so you don’t have to turn on the oven and use the stove — but you can definitely approach the broccoli prep as we did here and then give it a chop.
This is the easiest way to make farro — boiling and draining — second only to a rice-cooker. If mine hadn’t been broken at the hands of a small, possibly well-intended child, I’d have used it.
Update 5/26: I’m terribly sorry. Did you make this recipe and find that your was much more green than mine? This is completely my fault. I made this with 1 to 1 1/4 pounds of broccoli, not 2 pounds originally written. I feel terrible about this; it sounds from the comments that just about everyone still enjoyed but if you were among those who did not, I’m terribly sorry. I do have my share of typos, but rarely mistakes of this magnitude. It will not become a habit.
- 1 cup semi-pearled farro
- 1 pound broccolini or regular broccoli (previously: 2 pounds, see note)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- Finely grated zest, then juice, of 1 lemon (juice before zesting only if you enjoy being grumpy)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces pecorino romano, grated or ground in a food processor
Add farro back to same pot (I’m totally okay with some errant leftover broccoli flecks and vitamins here, if you’re not, use another pot of salted water) and cook, simmering, for 25 to 30 minutes, until tender. (Since there are so many varieties of farro, however, if your package suggests otherwise, it’s best to defer to its cooking suggestion.) Drain and tip into a large mixing bowl; cool to lukewarm.
Pat drained broccoli dry on towels, trying to remove as much excess moisture as possible. Chop into small (roughly 1/2-inch) bits. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add garlic and pepper flakes, to taste, and cook for 1 minute, until garlic is faintly golden. Add chopped broccoli, lemon zest, and salt (I use a full teaspoon kosher salt here, but adjust the amount to your taste) and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 more minutes, until broccoli is well-seasoned and slightly more tender.
Add broccoli and every bit of garlic and oil from the pan to the bowl of farro and stir to combine. Add lemon juice, black pepper and more salt to taste (but 1/2 teaspoon of each is what we used) and stir to combine. Stir in cheese.