Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Food: My Friend Farro

I know, I know. I've been super neglectant about writing lately. But I do have a fairly valid excuse. My company decided to staff me on two projects - one in Atlanta and one in Salt Lake City. So I feel like October thru November has been a complete blur (not to mention I somehow managed to pull off (with some help from family) Thanksgiving dinner for twenty-two! in the middle of it all). I wake up some mornings and don't know where I am...rolling over expecting to see a familiar alarm clock face rather than a sparse bedside table with an outdated lamp and some carpeting you would expect to see in an English-garden loving grandmother's house (Hilton, if you're reading this, your core hotels desperately need some major refreshing).
This is my last week in Utah and the temperature has been pretty cold - at least colder than it has been in Detroit so far. So it's making me crave things hot and hearty, warm and comforting. When I think of food like this, my friend farro definitely fits the bill. I'm about to share with you my go-to comfort dish. There's just something about it that's just so very fufilling. I don't know what it is about whole grains with sweet onions, salty feta, and bitey (is that a word?) hot sauce. But it is soooo good. And I thank Molly for the wonderful idea a while back. This has become my favorite thing to eat when I'm in the need of a warm food hug. And guess what, it's actually pretty healthy too!
Don't be concerned if you don't have everything below in your pantry. For example, if I don't have onions I'll often make it with farro and black beans (no lentils) instead. And sometimes I'll throw in some crispy onions instead of carmelized ones. It's open for creativity. But keep in mind, it's never complete without a few dabs of tangy hot sauce and feta cheese. That's the selling point.

For Orangette's Farro (including a scrumptious description on how to make it), click here. Once you know the basics you can make it from memory and modify however you please.

For those of you in metro-Detroit you can find farro at Whole Foods or Busch's (both carried a semi-pearled variety - and don't fall over when you see a $7 price tag on a little bag of grain..it's worth it and goes a long way). I generally use 1 cup of farro, about 3 cups of water and some salt. Combine ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, simmering for 25 minutes or so. Then you can drain the farro, stir in some black beans, feta cheese, and hot sauce. Good to go! And in case you're curious, even my beef-eating, anti-healthy-food office co-workers have commented how heavenly this smells.

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