Thursday, August 16, 2012

Making a Real Dinner: Fried Farro and Dark Greens

Here's a dish I simply must tell you about: Fried Farro and Dark Greens. I made it for the first time in Point Reyes, but it's snuck into our weeknight rotation at least two times since. It's easy. It's healthy. It's the perfect meal if I'm eating alone and the leftovers are just as good the next day for lunch, hot or cold. Plus, it's extraordinary topped with a fried egg, or alongside roasted chicken or sausage. 

Last night, I used a big bunch of kale as my dark greens and also tossed in a few fresh herbs (marjoram from our CSA box, basil, and parsley). Sean's was served with a pan fried chicken sausage, mine was topped with half an avocado. 

I like to call this kind of dinner "peasant food." Simple and hearty, these aren't always the most attractive dishes but they are -- without fail -- my favorite to consume.

Add in a little farmer's market bread, a chunk of Gruyere, and a bottle of pink wine. Suddenly the mid-weeknight is feeling less frenzied, more authentic. Just the way I like it.

Fried Farro and Dark Greens
Adapted from Off the Menu by Marissa Guggiana

1 cup farro
1 bunch dark greens (kale, chard, collard)
3 Tbl. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the dry farro on a sheet pan and toast it until a little brown, about 10 minutes. Toasting the farro will enhance the flavor. Note: Alternately, I've done this step in the toaster oven (simply toast the grain) as well as pan toasting it in a hot frying pan before cooking the grain. All methods work well.

Coarsely chop the dark greens. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add the greens. Cook over high heat for 5 to 8 minutes; drain and set aside. 

Combine the toasted farro with 2½ cups salted water in the saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until done. Drain the farro.

Heat a medium cast-iron skillet or other heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the garlic. Stir-fry for a few minutes, until the onion is just tender and beginning to brown. Add the farro along with the remaining tablespoon of oil and continue to fry to encourage browning, constantly stirring to avoid burning, about 6 to 7 minutes. After the farro is fried, add about 2 cups (or more) of the cooked greens and warm through. Serve immediately.


Ann said...

A simple, good dinner makes any day feel special and satisfying. If it's healthy, then you can feel virtous, too!

Sarah (The Yellow House) said...

I love this. Some sort of grain + dark leafy greens + a shaved hard cheese or fried egg is frequently a weeknight dinner for us, too. The best part is that Ben and I always marvel at how good it is, and wonder why we ever try to cook anything else. A smashed clove of garlic and some olive oil does magical things for humble ingredients. It's nice to have magic to slow us down :) Hope you're well.

Megan Taylor said...

Peasant food = my life! Love the elegant simplicity of this meal. You're making me hungry too!!! xo