Harissa Farro Bowls with Spaghetti Squash and Hummus
When it comes to weeknight meals, some nights are a mash-up of all the components I prepped earlier in the week. My creativity takes a break, and I usually just toss items together, making something slightly weird but delicious. This recipe seems simple from the outset, but it’s the components that are the star.
Squash for days
I’m always a bit slow to pick up a spaghetti squash in the colder months. Give me butternut, acorn, or delicata any day. I think it might be because I always feel a bit limited by what I can do with spaghetti squash. However, I think it’s a wonderful ‘star of a dish’ kind of ingredient.
I will say, don’t feel limited by the spaghetti squash. I’m hard-pressed to think of a vegetable that wouldn’t work in place of the spaghetti squash. Try roasted sweet potato, butternut squash, root vegetables, asparagus, or summer squash.
Why green harissa
While any zippy green sauce would work for this dish (I told you this dish is simple!), I love harissa for the bit of herby punch it brings. This mix brings everything together in quick fashion.
This dish is already vegan, but if you want to make it gluten-free, swap out the farro. One of the delightful parts of this recipe is the texture the farro lends the whole dish. Without the chewiness, it would be rather one-texture. I’d highly recommend making this with sorghum.
Everything in this dish could be prepped ahead and reheated on the day. The harissa and hummus are both staples I use throughout the week, and farro makes for an excellent grain-bowl base. Because farro can hold it’s texture well, I like to reheat heat in a pan. Place in a pan, add about ½ cup of water, cover, and cook over low until hot.
Harissa Farro Bowls with Spaghetti Squash and Hummus
1 Spaghetti Squash
1 cup pearled farro, uncooked
⅓ cup or so green harissa
½ cup hummus (plain or garlic are good choices)
Preheat your oven to 400˚F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, then plate cut-side down in a roasting pan. Prick with a fork, then place in the oven and bake until the squash is just tender; around 35 to 45 minutes. You don’t want the squash to be overly soft but should be easily pierced by a knife. Remove and let cool slightly before removing the squash.
While the squash is roasting, place a medium pan over medium heat. Add the farro and toast for a couple of minutes, until the grain smells warm. Add 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the farro is tender; 35 to 40 minutes (see note).
When the farro is tender, stir in the harissa. Then, assemble the bowls with a swoop of hummus, about 1 ½ cups of the spaghetti squash, and ¼ of the farro per bowl.
If using whole-grain farro, start the farro before starting the squash. Whole-grain farro takes longer to cook (upwards of an hour).
I did not like tomatoes as a child. My mom grew tomatoes in our garden and I always turned up my nose at them. What a missed opportunity to enjoy something so delicious! As an adult with my own garden, I was excited to grow a big harvest this summer. Unfortunately, both tomato plants died before they produced any fruit! If you’re lucky enough to have a homegrown bounty of fresh tomatoes still warm from the summer sun, I beg you to make this marinated tomato and avocado salad.
In fact, I beg you to make this marinated tomato and avocado salad even if you don’t have a vegetable garden. That is, unless you’ve discovered this recipe in the dead of winter and all you can find are bland greenhouse tomatoes. In that case, bookmark this page and come back in summer when tomatoes have the absolute best flavor. I used pearl tomatoes on the vine for this recipe because they’re the perfect bite size when sliced into quarters. Feel free to use whatever tomatoes you have on hand!
This marinated tomato and avocado salad is a fantastic summer recipe whether you’re barbecuing at home or headed out for a picnic. The tomatoes can chill in the fridge while you prep the rest of your feast, making this a really simple recipe to prepare if you’re in charge of multiple dishes. Dice and add the avocado just before serving for the best results.
While incredibly fresh and delicious on its own, there are many ways you can bulk up this marinated tomato and avocado salad if you need to feed a crowd. Try adding cooked quinoa, couscous, or farro. Or, turn it into a pasta salad by adding cooked and cooled shells or penne. I have big plans to spread this salad on crusty bread for a bruschetta-inspired appetizer.
1 or 2 ripe avocados, diced (depending on your preference and the size of your avocados)
⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
Quarter the pearl tomatoes and place them in a large bowl. Peel the red onion and cut it in half from tip to root. Place the flat part of the onion on your cutting board and carefully slice it into thin half moons. Add the onion to the bowl with the tomatoes.
Combine the chopped garlic, lime juice, olive oil, agave, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine. The marinade should be salty, tangy, and just a tad sweet – adjust the ingredients until balanced.
Pour the marinade over the sliced tomatoes and onion and gently toss to coat. Marinate the tomatoes in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Just before serving, drain any excess liquid from the tomatoes. Tip: if you’re serving this salad with cooked quinoa, couscous, or pasta, reserve the marinade for extra dressing. Transfer the marinated tomatoes and onions to a serving platter and add the diced avocado. Top with chopped cilantro and serve fresh.