Toasted Black Rice and Farro

Remember when I made that mouth watering piece of halibut with the nutty grains underneath?  I bring to you the nutty grains.  Black rice and farro to be exact and yet another recipe from Suzanne Goin.  She's perfect for when you want something satisfying, healthy, and time consuming.  The time you spend on her recipes always pays off though so don't let recipes like these frighten you.

Ideally you'd have pea shoots and green garlic to make the dish exactly as Suzanne calls for, however I couldn't find either at our local nice grocery store.  Alas.  Next time I'd add in some kale or chard just to give it that hit of green.

This dish has the complexity from the onion and chile de arbol that I love oh so much and would be a great side to any fish or chicken dish really.  The grains are packed with nutrients and protein and something any vegetarian should be familiar with so they may just like it should you be having anyone with those eating habits over for dinner.

This recipe serves a crowd- 8-12 at least depending on how big of eaters you've got.

Recipe thanks to Suzanne Goin

Ingredients You'll Need

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 chiles de arbol
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup black rice
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups farro
  • salt and pepper
1.  Heat a medium dutch oven until hot, about 1 minute.  Add 2 tablespoons of your olive oil, 1/2 cup onion, one chile and one bay leaf.  Cook about 3 minutes until the onion is translucent   

2.  Add the rice, stirring to coat it with the oil and toast it lightly.  Pour in 1/4 cup white wine and then let that reduce by half.  Next add 4 1/2 cups water and 1 teaspoon of salt.  Bring to a boil then turn heat to simmer and cook for 40 minutes.  When it's almost done stir constantly until it's evaporated.  Season with pepper and then put the rice on a baking sheet to cool.  Note: My rice didn't soak up all the liquid but it was done so I drained it then let it cool on the baking sheet.  Discard the chile and bay leaf.

3.  In a second dutch oven add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 cup onion, thyme and remaining bay leaf to the hot pot.  Cook, stirring often until the onion is translucent, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the faro and stir it to coat and again toast it slightly.  Pour in remaining 1/2 cup wine and reduce by half.  Next add 8 cups water and 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a  boil.  Turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes until tender.  Strain the farro and place on another baking sheet to cool.  Discard the bay leaf.

4.  You're almost there!  Heat a large saute pan then add the remaining chile which you have sliced on a diagonal along with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and green garlic if you have it.  Saute for 2-3 minutes then add the farro, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and some pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes then stir in the rice and cook about 2-3 minutes.  If you had other greens you wanted to add in here now's the time- kale or chard would work well.  Add pea shoots here if you have them and want to take Suzanne's recommendation!  Taste for seasoning and you're ready to serve it under fish or as a side for anything else your little heart desires.

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