Sunday, November 20, 2011

Farro e Verdure: Your Recipe, My Kitchen

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? 


Becky said...

Looks like a great dish to make on Sunday for lunches all week. I am going to have to give this a try next weekend. I have some spelt berries on hand, I think I will use those! Thanks for cooking it up for us!

Belinda @zomppa said...

Wheat berries are so good and underappreciated - thanks for sharing such a great dish!

Anita Stafford said...

Kristen, I have shared White Chocolate Lemon Streusel Bars and Oreo Cheesecake. Thank you for hosting and have a great Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Kristen...this looks amazing! I've never done anything with whole wheat berries except grind them for bread! Beautiful! Thanks!

Tina said...

There are so many grains out there that I have yet to try and learn about. This does look like a hearty and comforting dish. I must try wheat berries, thanks for sharing!

Joanne said...

I ALWAYS substitute wheat berries for farro because it's a LOT less expensive. They are my favorite grains and have the BEST texture! I love this dish...totally going to vegetarianize it!

The Mom Chef said...

I've never tried farro, but it looks delicious. And heck, if Mario made it, it MUST be good, right?

Miz Helen said...

Hi Kristen,
Your dish looks awesome! I am sharing my menu and recipes for Thanksgiving Week. Thanks for hosting and my very best wishes to you and your family for a blessed Thanksgiving.
Miz Helen

Sandi G said... your version best, agree about the tomato sauce-"uh, no."

Mouth watering pictures!

Katerina said...

I have never tried farro! The dish llok really tempting, I would love to try it!

Lizzy said...

I found two packages of farro in my pantry...and this looks like a delicious way to start using it up! Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!!!

Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. said...

This looks wonderful! I like the changes you made as you have made this an easier recipe for us regular folk to make, lol. I've never had wheat berries, but they sound wonderful!

Miranda said...

I have never heard (or eaten) wheat berries. They look like barley though - are they similar in texture/taste? I love barley though, so versatile.

Prathima Rao said...

Simple, hearty, delish recipe!!! A perfect sunday dish :)
Prathima Rao
Prats Corner

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