Although the 80-degree temperatures this week could fool anyone into thinking that winter in Baja Arizona is long gone, CSA shares and farmers markets tell a different story. This week’s Tucson CSA share, which included three different varieties of citrus and four different varieties of greens, made it clear that winter produce is still in abundance at local farms. Winter here is nothing to complain about, but I was happy to find a few signs of early spring in the form of carrots and cauliflower at the Santa Cruz River Farmers’ Market. They inspired me to create this late winter/early spring Maple-Glazed Carrot Farro Salad.
Have you ever tried farro? It’s a nutty grain that cooks up like rice and can be served in anything from stir-frys, to veggie burgers, to this Maple-Glazed Carrot Farro Salad. Farro makes a great base for the three cups of chopped winter greens, lemon-dijon vinaigrette, and slow-roasted, maple-glazed carrots and Brussels sprouts in this salad.
That’s right: slow-roasted, maple-glazed carrots and Brussels sprouts that could convince anybody to eat their
peas Brussels sprouts and carrots. The vegetables are first roasted in olive oil, which chars them beautifully. Then, they’re tossed in pure maple syrup and roasted again, this time with a sweet coating that caramelizes the vegetables until they’re perfectly tender.
And then (because what is a late winter/early spring salad without winter greens?) the farro and perfectly roasted vegetables are tossed with three cups of spinach, mizuna, or arugula. The whole thing is dressed in a lemon-dijon vinaigrette, which is wonderfully refreshing and the perfect way to use those seasonal lemons in your fridge.
My favorite thing about this salad is its versatility. Eat it right away or take it for a picnic the next day. Don’t have spinach, arugula, or mizuna? Use kale or beet greens. You can even make a wonderful fried rice dish with the leftovers. No matter how you choose to eat it, savor the taste of Baja Arizona.