We’ve been intrigued by Farro recently.
It has started appearing in some of the more upscale restaurants around town — reminding me of Polenta’s sudden promotion to a “fancy” entree about a decade ago, even though it has long been a staple food for the poor in Europe.
There seems to be a bit of confusion on what, exactly, this ancient grain might be. Depending on who you ask, it could be Emmer, Spelt, or Einkorn — which are all closely related.
The cooked grains are high in fiber and protein, and have a mild, nutty flavor. They’re chewy, not mushy.
The big caveat on this otherwise easy dish is that it takes about 90 minutes to cook the grains — so be sure to plan ahead and leave ample time for them to cook thoroughly. Oh, and the last twenty minutes are a little hectic, as you need to manage several burners at once. This is a good dish to make with a friend.
Rather than frying or baking the tofu (which would toughen it), we decided to simmer it in vegetable stock. The result was smooth, soft tofu slices, which made a perfect contrast to the chewy Farro grains.
- 1 cup Farro (dry measure)
- 3½ cups Water
- ½ teaspoon Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base (optional)
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 cups Broccoli
- 1 cup Cabbage
- ½ cup sliced Carrots
- 16 ounces Tofu
- 2 cups Water
- 1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base
- 1 teaspoon Sesame Seeds
- ¼ teaspoon White Pepper
- Add the grains, water, and vegetable base to a medium saucepan, and simmer for about 90 minutes. Once the grains are cooked to the desired texture, drain any excess water.
- When there are about 15 minutes left, steam the broccoli, cabbage, and carrots (and any other veggies you want).
- At the same time, bring 2 cups water and 1 teaspoon vegetable base to a boil in a sautee pan or skillet. Slice the Tofu into ½? strips, and simmer gently in the broth, for about 10 minutes.
- One more thing while you’ve got all this going on: Toast the sesame seeds until they’re lightly browned.
- Mix the cooked vegetables into the Farro. Salt and Pepper to taste.
- To serve, place the Farro and vegetables in a bowl and gently lay the Tofu on top using a slotted spoon. Sprinkle the tofu with the sesame seeds and pepper.