The Whimsical World of Angela Cohen

Actualizing the Cartoonish Thoughts in my head

New fun healthy recipe

This time of year, I love to find new recipes to change up my food with the weather. The Winter stuff is too heavy for Spring and frankly, I’m bored with it. This one with farro looks promising. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Farrotto with Greens, Pine Nuts, and Currants (Makes 6 servings)

Traditional risotto gets its luscious, chewy, creamy texture from short-grain arborio rice and constant stirring. This dish gives you the same terrific result with less effort and whole-grain goodness, too. Call it farrotto—a cheaty version of risotto made with farro.

2 cups whole farro
¼ cup pine nuts
4 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 dried red pepper, crumbled, or a couple of good pinches of red pepper flakes
1 bunch Swiss chard, spinach, kale, or other hearty winter greens, chopped into bite-size pieces
5 cups vegetable broth or water
¼ cup currants
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Pour the farro into a sieve, rinse with cold water, and drain. In a large bowl, soak the farro in enough cold water to cover overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the pine nuts into a shallow ovenproof pan and toast until they just turn golden, about six minutes. Transfer the pine nuts to a small bowl to cool.

3. In a stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic and red pepper sizzle and are fragrant, a few minutes. Add the chard, a handful at a time, and cook until it just wilts, four to five minutes. Transfer the chard to another large bowl.

4. Drain the farro and pour it into the pot. Stir until the farro toasts and gets a little luster from the residual oil, about two minutes. Add the broth or water, stir, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. (The farro will continue to soak up liquid as it cools, becoming thick and creamy, with a risottoesque consistency.

5. Stir in the chard and the currants. The currants, which start out tiny and wrinkly, will plump up. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Gently stir the pine nuts into the farro, reserving 1 tablespoon for garnish. To serve, mound into a serving bowl or spoon onto individual plates. Sprinkle the last of the pine nuts on top.


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