29 Jan Dr. Sheldon’s Recipes – Toasted Farro with Currants, Pine Nuts and Kale
This recipe looks like a lot of steps, but is well worth it. If you haven’t tried farro, imaging a grain that’s nutty and chewy, kind of like barley. The current and pine nut mixture makes enough to make this dish twice so I’ll often make it once, then again a week later. It’s modified from Suzanne Goin’s cookbook The AOC Cookbook. Her restaurant, AOC, is my favorite LA restaurant and she serves this dish at the restaurant. I recommend this recipe not because it’s healthful (which it is) but because it tastes amazing!
Currants and Pine nuts (makes about a cup of mixture)
- 3 tablespoons currants
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 small sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 dried chili de arbol or other dried chili (or even a small sprinkle of red chili flakes)
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (I use the ones already toasted from TJ’s)
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- Put the currants in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak until plumped, about 10 minutes, then drain.
- Heat the olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the rosemary and chili and cook until the chili starts to sizzle, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and salt and cook over very low heat, about 10 minutes, until the onion is soft and sweet. Do not let brown.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and discard the chili and rosemary sprig. (The rosemary nettles will stay in the onion mixture)
- Add the drained currants and the toasted pine nuts to the onion mixture.
- Add the balsamic vinegar to the pot used for the onions and cook until reduced to about 1.5 -2 TBSP (about 10 minutes). Add to the onion, currant, pine nut mixture.
- 1½ cups farro
- 1 pound cleaned mustard greens, chard or kale (preferably cavolo nero also called lacinto), center ribs removed, julienned into strips
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup red onion, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup currant and pine nut mixture
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)
- 2 tsp Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a medium pot of water to boil and blanch the kale (or greens) for 1-2 minutes. Transfer kale (or greens) to a colander and toss to dry. (You can also skip this step and just cook the greens with the farro – step 5 — or just mix them in at the very end, depending on how crispy you want the greens)
- Heat 1.5 TBSP olive oil in a pot and add the onion, the thyme and a bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently until the onion is translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the farro and stir to coat it with the oil for another 2 minutes. Add 8 cups of water and the salt and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, but still chewy— 10-30 minutes depending on what type of farro you purchase. (TJ’s has a 10 minute farro; I use one from Costco that takes 20 minutes. Check the directions on the package.)
- Drain the farro, discard the bay leaf and allow it to dry in the colander. Wipe out the pan.
- Heat the remaining 1.5 TBSP olive oil in the pot used to cook the farro. Add the farro and the kale (or greens), some salt (if needed) and freshly ground black pepper. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly for 2-4 minutes.
- Add the currant and pine nut mixture, parsley (if using) and taste for seasoning.