This week's recipe is not from another blog, but rather from a recipe site. I was handed this recipe to make and bring to a workshop on how to cook with wheat. While I have great respect for Mario Batali, I knew I couldn't make the recipe as written. For one thing, it asked me to make a 4 Cup batch of tomato sauce so that I could use 1 Tablespoon. Um, no. Then there was the chicory. I don't even know what fresh chicory looks like. I thought it was ground up and used as an added ingredient in some coffee. I had to look it up. The roots are used for coffee. The leaves are used in salad! Then there was the whole farro versus wheat berries thing. Farro is a term used more for the grains of certain wheat species, according to Wikipedia. It doesn't necessarily mean the common hard red wheat that I used in this recipe, but it will do. There is so much I don't know about food!!!
So have you ever eaten wheat berries? They are nutty and chewy and filling. I am thinking that I need to use them more because they are absolutely delicious. This is not a vegetarian dish, but with a little tweaking, it certainly could be. Just leave out the bacon. Use olive oil to saute the vegetables. With more broth, you could serve this as a soup or stew. It can stand along as a main dish or can be served on the side.
Farro e Verdure (adapted from Molto Mario on Food Network)
4 slices of bacon, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
about 5 cups water (more if needed)
1 cup uncooked wheat berries (wheat kernels)
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 10 ounce brick frozen chopped spinach, thawed, heated and drained
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp store bought spaghetti sauce (could use tomato paste)
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the bacon in a large saute pan or stockpot. Remove the meat and set aside while you cook the onion and celery until soft. Add the bacon back to the pan along with the wheat berries and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and cover. Turn down heat and cook until water is absorbed. Add more water until the wheat berries are plump and soft. (It took me 5 cups of water, it may take you a little more or less) Once the wheat is tender, add the remaining ingredients. Cover and continue to cook until the carrots are done, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning and serve. (note: this would have been good with grated cheese on top.)
So, what did you make this week? How many of you pre-make Thanksgiving dishes to post?