Thursday, January 16, 2014

Farro. Not the Woody Allen type.

Michel is NOT a filmgoer.  Actually, he’s not really much of a film watcher at all when it comes to current cinema.  There are a few films of which he is especially fond, though—Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, Scarface, The Godfather, among others—in short, nothing I really have the stomach for.  And he has a peculiar gift for committing to memory the smallest details from films, books, music recordings, etc.  It’s involuntary.  And a little scary.  I’ve never heard him talk about how he acquired the ability to recall these things.   It’s just what he does.  Same thing with violins and bows.  And paintings. 

I often tell Michel that I don’t know how he can carry his head around with all that stuff in it.  Despite my inability to watch Pulp Fiction or Goodfellas from beginning to end and Michel’s distaste for the Nora Ephron-type films I sometimes enjoy, we do share the same attitude about Woody Allen.  We think he’s tiresome.  For many years I wondered why I didn’t “get” Woody Allen movies.  I tried to find them funny and I attributed my lack of amusement to some kind of intellectual deficit on my part.  Turns out I just don’t like them.

And now for the actual farro. 

It’s a rather biblical-looking grain that offers a high protein, low gluten option for those who are full- or part-time vegetarians.  It has a chewy, pasta-like texture with fewer carbs than your favorite noodles.  Delicious!

Farro with fennel, tarragon, garlic, and pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups farro
  • One large fennel bulb, “rough” chopped
  • One pepper, chopped—red, green, or yellow—whatever you like
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon or (even better) 4-5 sprigs of fresh tarragon
  • ½ an onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup (or more) red wine
  • 1 carton vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • NOT for vegans:  an optional “sprinkle” of parmesan cheese

  • Heat olive oil in a deep skillet.
  • Add onion, fennel, garlic, pepper and chopped fresh tarragon/dried tarragon.
  • Cook over medium heat until onion and fennel are translucent.

  • Turn up heat to high and pour in the wine.
  • Bring to a boil and wait for alcohol to be absorbed.
  • Once the alcohol has been absorbed/evaporated, add the farro.
  • Add enough vegetable broth to completely submerge the whole mixture.
  • Cook uncovered over medium heat for 30-45 minutes.  

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