Farro is a grain similar to barley, but a larger and chewier–I like it better than most other “grains” like bulghur, barley, rice, and quinoa due to its more substantial texture. This was my first experiment in preparing farro, which I did similarly to risotto in that broth was added bit by bit until it was fully absorbed.
This dish is, according to the original author, inspired by a Moroccan porridge called herbel, which is sweet as it uses cinnamon and milk.
The dish below is definitely savory and a perfect light lunch.
Risotto-Style Farro with Cauliflower and Runny Egg
Adapted from Food and Wine
5 tablespoons unsalted butter or Earth Balance
4 scallions, sliced (a kitchen scissor is a great tool for this)
8 ounces uncooked farro
Salt and pepper to taste
1 quart vegetable stock
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups 1-inch cauliflower florets
1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar (I did not have sherry)
4-8 large eggs (one or two per person, your choice)
1 tablespon white vinegar
In a large nonstick saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the sliced scallions and cook on medium heat until softened (2 minutes). Add the farro, season with salt and pepper (omit salt if using high-sodium broth) and cook the farro in the butter/scallion mixture for 1 minute (to toast it). Add the broth, half-cup by half-cup, slowly, allowing the farro to absorb it all before adding the next aliquot of broth; stir frequently but not constantly. This will take about 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil and then add cauliflower; season with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat until tender and browned in spots (about 5 minutes). Add the cauliflower to the farro mixture and toss, as well as the vinegar and the remaining butter. Divvy into four bowls.
Poach the eggs: Crack the eggs into small bowls. Bring a shallow pan of water to a rolling boil. Add white vinegar to the water; vinegar keeps the egg whites from spreading too much. Add each egg into the pan carefully and cook for three minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and place directly on top of the farro in each bowl. Garnish with fresh scallions.
This was pretty easy to make and very satisfying. I used the 10-minute farro, which may have changed the texture of the resulting product; I think risotto is supposed to be creamier. I would like to try cooking regular farro and see if there is a difference. The red wine vinegar cuts through the buttery farro and rich egg yolk, and the sweetness of the browned cauliflower offsets the savory scallions.
I really love eggs with a runny yolk… something about them, it just tastes like the elixir of life (which, it kind of is). This meal is super protein-packed and a great post-workout dish. The dish is vegan besides the egg, and can stand up without the egg if necessary.
If I make this again, though, I’ll definitely add some more veggies such as broccoli and/or peas for color and flavor.