Every once in awhile, you come across a recipe that changes everything. I don’t mean to be hyperbolic, but I’m at the stage in life where a one-pot, one-cutting-board, one-knife recipe makes me coo in a way usually reserved for fresh babies and tiny puppies. This is only amplified when it can be made with items I generally have on hand, like during this week’s cold snap.
I was working from home with nary an item left in the fridge – because who grocery shops when you’ve got leftovers – and contemplating how terrible it would be to go out in the snow and chill to find lunch. And then I remembered the bag of farro in our pantry, the onions and garlic hidden away in the kitchen and the pint of cherry tomatoes my mom had slipped in to my bag on Boxing Day. Lunch, made.
A cup of farro, two cups of water, a pint of cherry tomatoes, an onion + garlic and some olive oil are all you need to make this luxurious risotto-esque dish happen. Poach an egg on top and it’s heavenly.
This dish feels fresh and bright, but also deeply comforting. Creamy with a bit of chew thanks to the farro, it covers all the bases…especially with a drizzle of EVOO and sprinkle of Maldon to finish.
It shouldn’t surprise you that this recipe comes from my culinary queen, Deb of Smitten Kitchen. She’s saved my bacon on so many occasions.
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup semi-pearled farro
- 1 medium onion (white or yellow)
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1¼ teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt
- Up to ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- Few basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons (optional)
- Grated parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
- Place water and farro in a medium saucepan to presoak (5-10 minutes) while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Adding each ingredient to the pot as you finish preparing it, cut onion in half again, and very thinly slice it into quarter-moons. Thinly slice garlic cloves as well. Halve or quarter tomatoes.
- Add salt, pepper flakes (to taste) and 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan, and set a timer for 30 minutes.
- Bring uncovered pan (no lid necessary) up to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. When the timer rings, the farro should be perfectly cooked (tender but with a meaty chew), seasoned and the cooking water should be almost completely absorbed. If needed, cook it for 5 additional minutes, until farro is more tender.
- To Serve: Transfer to a wide serving bowl. If there’s enough leftover cooking liquid to be bothersome, simply use a slotted spoon to leave the amount you wish to behind. Drizzle farro lightly with additional olive oil, scatter with basil and parmesan. Finish with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, like Maldon.
I dare you to make this just once. In case you can’t already tell, that would be impossible.