Tag Archives: farro

Warm Steak and Farro Salad with Roasted Beets, Onions and Chickpeas

~ Beef Ribeye, Farro, Golden Beets, Spring Onion, Chickpeas, Tarragon ~

It’s safe to say that everything I bought today at the market ended up in this dish. Sweet onions, golden beets and fresh chickpeas vied for my attention this morning at the farmers’ market, so I did what any sensible person would do. I bought all of them. Moving on to the local ranch’s stall displaying their glistening meat, I  continued my spree and snagged 2 seriously soft and richly marbled rib eye steaks, each weighing in at nearly 1 pound each. I wasn’t sure exactly how I would put our dinner together, but I knew it would be magnificent with these fresh and earthy ingredients.

Warm Steak and Farro Salad with Roasted Beets, Onions and Chickpeas
Serves 4

3 medium golden beets, peeled, cut in 1/2 inch batons or wedges
1 large sweet yellow onion, halved lengthwise, each half thickly sliced in wedges
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 1/4 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups farro
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
2 or 3 rib eye steaks, about 1 inch thick
1/2 cup shelled fresh chick peas
1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
Sriracha (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 F/190 C. Toss the beets and onion with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in oven until beets are tender and onions are beginning to brown, about 45 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the farro: Combine the stock, farro and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the farro is tender but still chewy, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil,  garlic, paprika, cumin and cayenne. Partially cover to keep warm.
Prepare the steaks: Season the steaks all over with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add steaks, without overcrowding, and cook until brown on both sides, turning once, 6 to 8 minutes for medium rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Cut steaks crosswise in 1/2 inch thick slices.
While the steaks are resting, add the fresh chickpeas to the skillet and briefly saute over medium heat until their color brightens, 1 to 2 minutes.
To serve, spoon the farro into the center of a serving platter or divide among serving plates. Arrange steak in the center of the farro and drizzle with any accumulated juices. Place the vegetables around the steak and drizzle with any accumulated baking juices. Scatter the chickpeas over. Garnish with fresh tarragon. If desired drizzle with more olive oil. Serve warm with Sriracha sauce on the side.

Chicken and Farro Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms

Simple Sunday dinner:
Chicken and Farro Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms

Following a busy, social weekend with big meals and late evenings, Sunday is nicely relaxed and peaceful with no reservations, no make-up and no agenda. Dinner will reflect simplicity and balance with fresh and light ingredients and minimal fuss. It’s a perfect moment for this restorative chicken soup, using leftover meat and homemade stock from last week’s roast. Carrots, shiitakes, and fresh snipped parsley from our terrace pots brighten and flavor the soup, while farro adds a little nutritional heft to this easy one-dish meal.

Chicken and Farro Soup with Carrots and Shiitakes
Serves 4

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, trimmed, halved if large
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup farro
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cooked chicken breasts, 12 to 16 ounces, shredded in large pieces
1/4 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until it softens without coloring, 2 minutes. Add carrots and mushrooms. Sauté until carrots brighten in color and mushrooms begin to release their juices, 2 to 3  minutes. Add stock, farro, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer until farro is tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in chicken and top off with additional stock if needed. Taste for seasoning. Simmer until chicken is heated through. Ladle into bowls. Serve hot, garnished with parsley.

Farro, Kale and Butternut Squash Soup

~ Farro, Kale and Butternut Squash Soup with Parmigiano ~

Autumn in a bowl sums up this nourishing soup. Sweet butternut squash and sturdy kale team up with farro, an ancient Italian wheat grain, known as spelt in English. Farro is a hulled wheat, which means it retains its husk during harvest. The husk serves as a protective cloak, preserving nutrients and protecting the kernel from insects and pollutants, which permits the grower to avoid pesticides. Rich in protein, fiber and B vitamins, farro has a satisfying nutty flavor which adds heft with health to soups and stews.  The final touch in this warming soup is a chunk of Parmigiano cheese, which is nestled into the simmering stock, breaking down and releasing umami flavor while thickening the soup.

Farro, Kale and Butternut Squash Soup

Barley may be substituted for the farro. Serves 6-8.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks, trimmed, green parts discarded, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, finely diced
2 cups butternut squash, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup farro
6 cups chicken stock, plus additional stock as necessary
1 (15-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes with juice
1  (2-inch) chunk of Parmesan rind
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups shredded kale leave
Finely grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add leek, garlic, onion and celery. Sauté 2 minutes. Add butternut squash and farro. Sauté one minute. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, cheese chunk, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, breaking up tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer until squash is tender and farro is cooked, about 30 minutes. (Add more stock to desired consistency if soup is too thick.) Taste for seasoning. Stir in kale leaves; simmer until kale brightens in color and just wilts, about one minute. Ladle into bowls and grate cheese over the soup. Serve immediately.

Farrotto with Shiitake Mushrooms and Beets

You know, I could just call this Farro with Shiitake Mushrooms and Beets, but Farrotto sounds much more fun.  Farrotto?  Yes, if you switch out the rice from risotto with farro, then you end up with farrotto,  a grain steeped in stock – minus the requirement for non-stop stirring. Another difference from rice based risotto, is that farro has a pleasingly chewy texture, never succumbing to mushiness. Each nutty whole wheat grain maintains its shape,  exuding earthy wholesomeness. You can’t help feeling healthy when you eat it.

Farro has an ancient pedigree, originating in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Also known as emmer, and compared to spelt, farro is a species of wheat, high in fiber and rich in protein and B vitamins. It’s delicious in salads, pilafs, breads, soups and stews. If you haven’t tried it, you should. It’s healthy, economical and delicious.

Farrotto with Shitake Mushrooms and Beets

Golden beets add a sweet and nutty complement to the earthy mushrooms and farro in this healthy, satisfying dish. Serves 4-6.

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 shallot, minced
1 cup sliced shitake mushrooms
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups farro, rinsed and drained
2 cups chicken stock (or water for vegetarian option)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2-3 medium yellow beets, peeled, cut in 1/4 inch dice
Salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

Optional: Crumbled feta cheese for garnish

Heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a deep skillet or large saucepan. Add shallot and sauté until translucent. Add mushrooms and sauté until they soften, 2 minutes. Add garlic and stir briefly until fragrant. Add farro and cook, stirring to coat the grains and prevent sticking, 1-2 minutes. Add chicken stock, soy sauce and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until farro is tender but chewy, about 20 minutes. (Add additional chicken stock 1/4 cup at a time, if necessary to achieve desired consistency.)
While the farro is cooking, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add beets and sprinkle with salt. Sauté until tender and golden brown, 6-8 minutes.
To serve, toss farro with the beets and parlsey. If using feta, sprinkle over the farro. Serve warm or at room temperature.