If you’re not already familiar with Anson Mills, you should be. I first heard of them on a trip to Charleston last year when I bought a package of grits at a farmers’ market there. It’s a company founded on the premise of bringing quality flavors from heritage grains back to the forefront of American palates.
As a reward for your patience, you’ll end up with a hearty, delicious and packed-with-nutrients-meal that tastes nothing like the “pearled” farro in supermarkets. It’s so good, you’ll wish you had an endless bowl.
(recipe adapted from Anson Mills)
printable recipe here
6 ounces (1 cup) Anson Mills Farro Piccolo
1 quart chicken stock (or beef stock or vegetable stock)
1.25 ounces (2 1/2 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 T. olive oil
1 large shallot, minced (3 tablespoons)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 bay leaf
1/3 cup finely diced celery
1/3 cup finely diced carrot
1/2 cup finely diced zucchini
1/4 cup roasted red pepper, cut into bits
2 ounces (1/2 cup) finely grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
3. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed 3- or 4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrot, celery and zucchini and cook until softened somewhat. They will continue to cook with the farro, so don’t cook them fully now. Add the red pepper and the farro, increase the heat to medium, and stir until the grains are hot and coated with butter, about 1 minute. Stir in the wine and simmer until reduced to a glaze. Add the bay leaf and 1 cup of hot stock and stir once to make sure the grains are covered with liquid. Cook the farro, uncovered, at the barest simmer; when the liquid has been almost entirely absorbed and the farro begins to look dry, add another ½ cup of hot stock, stir once, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the farro once again begins to look dry. Cook the farro in this fashion for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add stock as needed, until the grains have expanded and are tender throughout, about 20 minutes longer.
Turn the farro into a food processor and give it ten 1-second pulses to crack some of the bran that encases the grains. Transfer it to a small bowl.
Bring the stock to a simmer in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and keep the stock just below a simmer as you cook the farro. If you need more liquid at the end, use hot water.
Stir in the Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. The farrotto should look creamy, not wet or soupy. Taste for seasoning. Stir in the parsley and serve immediately.