Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Kale & Farro Pilaf

Farro is a rice-like ancient grain that is gaining popularity for its versatility. It is very hard to overcook and doesn't tend to get mushy. It has a slight nutty flavor and is commonly used as a breakfast cereal, added to soups and salads, and also makes really good side dishes, as it takes on the flavor of what it is cooked with. Whole farro needs to be soaked overnight because the grain still retains the entire bran, but semi-pearled farro has had some of the bran removed, allowing it to cook faster but retain some fiber. I used semi-pearled farro in this recipe, and it cooked in about 30 minutes.  This was a really great dish for incorporating kale, and had a nice flavor from the dried porcini mushrooms. The original recipe I used from Vegetarian Times magazine called for a small amount of white wine, but I didn't have any in the house, so I replaced the wine with more vegetable stock. I also left out the red pepper flakes that the recipe called for. It turned out really great and held up well for leftovers!

Kale & Farro Pilaf


1/3 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup organic semi-pearled farro
1 shallot, finely chopped (~1/2 cup)
2 cups organic vegetable stock
2 cups, packed, organic kale, torn into small pieces
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tsp fresh organic thyme, chopped


1. Grind porcini mushrooms in food processor. Set aside.

2. Heat oil over medium high heat. Add farro and shallot, cook for about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup vegetable stock and cook for another 2 minutes.

3. Add ground mushrooms and remaining vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

4. Add kale on top of farro, do not mix in. Cover pan and let simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Fold kale into farro and top with sliced almonds and thyme.

(Recipe adapted from April 2016 issue of Vegetarian Times)

I served this farro as a side dish to go along with baked savory salmon. For my savory salmon recipe, click here.

What are the nutritional benefits of this dish? Semi-pearled farro is an excellent source of fiber and protein, and a great source of magnesium. Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K. It is also a good source of minerals calcium, copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorous.

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