Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Broccoli & Sun Dried Tomato Farro

Very delish and very Italian... no really, this grain has some serious history! This ancient Mediterranean grain was the standard fare of the Roman legions, and can now be found at a health food store near you. Farro falls into the wheat family, is packed with fiber and magnesium, and has a wonderfully chewy texture that makes any farro dish a meal rather than just another veggie side dish. Many recipes require a solid 8 hours of soaking farro, followed by several more hours of cooking... sure, good food certainly does take time, but your farro doesn't have to. Adding some balsamic vinegar to the cooking farro gives it that extra flavor boost, as does the slight acidity of the sun dried tomatoes.

The Whats:

* 1 1/4 cups whole grain farro
* 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
* 2 tsp nutmeg
* 4 tbsp. basil
* 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
* 1 large broccoli crown, stems trimmed
* 1 cup sun dried tomatoes, sliced into thin strips
* 1/4 cup red wine
* salt & pepper to taste

The Hows:

1) To make the farro: Rinse farro in a fine sieve, and rinse under cool running water. Transfer to a medium saucepan; add 2 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally. After 5 minutes, stir in balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp nutmeg and 2 tbsp. basil; cook until water is evaporated, and farro is al dente- chewy and firm. Set aside.

2) For the vegetables: Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 8 minutes, or until caramelized. Add the broccoli and sundried tomatoes; stir in red wine, salt & pepper, and the remaining nutmeg and basil. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until broccoli is cooked but still crisp. Remove from heat.

3) Add the cooked farro to the vegetable pan, and stir together. If desired, drizzle veggies & farro with an additional tablespoon of red wine or olive oil. Serve hot.

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