Farro and Vegetables

I think Farro is a superb grain. Substantive, flavorful, just chewy enough, and it goes with almost everything. Last week I cooked some with a mess of vegetables for dinner, and it was great. Here is my list of ingredients:

  • onion
  • leek
  • scallions
  • zucchini (one green, 1/2 of a yellow one)
  • small eggplant
  • beefsteak tomato
  • dried porcini
  • Shiitakes
  • radishes
  • endive
  • 1 quart broth
  • Maras pepper

I soaked the Farro first for ~45 minutes, then drained it. The vegetables were sautéed in sequence and reserved, and the Porcinis were rehydrated (saving the soaking water) and then cooked with the Shiitakes.

After adding 3-4 Tbs. of olive oil to my widest sauteuse, I cooked the Farro for about 5 minutes, to crisp up the grains. At this point I started to add broth (liquid from the chickpeas I had cooked a few days earlier), 1-2 cups at a time — almost like making risotto. After about 10 minutes, I added the onions/leek/scallions, and continued cooking. Next, it was time to add the sautéed mushrooms, along with the Porcini soaking liquid. Some Turkish Maras pepper was sprinkled in to add some warmth and spice to the dish.

This slow sauté continued — adding the remaining vegetables and more broth — for about 45 minutes in total. You can test taste the Farro as you go along, so you know when it is tender enough for your tastes.

Barbara doesn’t like Farro (too chewy), so I saved some of all the vegetables and served them to her with a quinoa/brown rice mixture, heated in a microwave.

As a side dish, I braised chopped fennel, celery stalks (cut 2-3 inches long), chopped tomato, and pitted/chopped Kalamata olives in another sauté pan. The results:

Farro and vegetables
braised celery, fennel, and tomato

The wine was probably an Italian rosé, from Negroamaro grapes.

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