Monday, July 22, 2013

A Side of Wonderful

I receive the Smitten Kitchen emails and usually glance over them before deleting them. But for some reason this recipe caught my eye. I decided to make it the following night. I pulled everything out of the fridge and go ready to start cooking, only to find my farro was bug-infested. You know those tiny little brown bugs that seem to feed on grains? Apparently they made a home in my farro. Ugh. But my barley was still good. So I decided to try that instead. I honestly didn't even notice a difference. If this story isn't a good reminder to have a stocked pantry, I don't know what is. The recipe made two large bowls, or four small servings. Even with the two bowls, it was still more of a side. The flavors were great, fresh and especially delicious with herbs from my garden. But what really set this dish on fire, was the incredible steak my darling pan-seared. I'll have to do another post about that at some point. Anyway, I'd recommend you make this side with a really amazing main dish. A meat of some sort. You won't be disappointed. It's really easy to make too, so all you have to do is put everything in a pot and make the rest of your dinner. I'm going to try it again with the farro, but the barley works great too.

One-Pan Farro (or Barley) with Tomatoes
recipe from here
2 cups water
1 cup semi-pearled farro
1/2 large onion, white or yellow (I used almost a whole onion because mine was on the smaller side)
2 cloves garlic
9 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt
Up to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste, optional. As per usual, fiance use dlots, I used none)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Few basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
Grated parmesan cheese, for serving

Start by soaking for farro for 5-10 minutes in the water in a small pot. In the meantime, quarter your onion and then slicing into thin strands. Basically long strips. Also slice your garlic. Add to the small pot with the tomatoes, salt, pepper flakes if using, and olive oil.

Set a timer for 30 minutes. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce to a steady simmer. Leave the pot alone. Come back and stir a few times, just to make sure it's all cooking evenly.

The farro or barley should be tender, but with some meatiness. It should still have a bite to it when you chomp down. Spoon into bowls, then top with sliced basil and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

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