Submitted by: Temra W from New York City, NY
Yield: Serves 4-6 people
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop the eggplants, bell peppers, and red onion into all the same size, approximately 1-inch each. Place vegetables into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle Merguez Seasoning, kosher salt and olive oil over the vegetables and use your hands to ensure evenly coated. Place vegetables on 2 sheets pans spread out so they can brown evenly. Roast for 35 minutes, rotating sheets pans between racks halfway through. Use a metal spatula to help turn the vegetables to ensure even caramelization.
While the Vegetables are roasting, rinse the pearled farro in a strainer in cold water for a minute. Then place the Farro in a large pot and cover completely with cold water. Place on high heat until it comes to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce to medium heat and cook 20-22 minutes or until the pearled farro is chewy to the bite. Drain and immediately place 4 cooked cups of the pearled farro to a large bowl, saving the rest for another use. Pour the Balsamic vinaigrette over the warmed farro and let sit in order for the farro to absorb all of the vinaigrette. Add kosher salt or sea salt to taste. Once the vegetables are finished roasting, add them to the farro and toss to combine. Allow the dish to sit until cooled or store in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat. Sprinkle with crumbled Greek feta, chopped fresh basil, and toasted pine nuts just prior to eating.
For the Balsamic Vinaigrette:
Combine all of the ingredients in a small container with a lid and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. If the dressing is too thick, add a few more teaspoons of water.
I think baby eggplants are sweeter and have less seeds than regular eggplants, but if you can’t find, use 1 medium eggplant. I like the look of the using red, orange, and yellow peppers in this dish, but any color pepper will work. To toast pine nuts, place in a small nonstick pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes until they are lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from heat immediately.