Since having the side dish version of sauteed farro at PastaPomodoro, I’ve become a huge fan of this type of dish. It’s similar in concept to Asian fried rice … simple, easy. With few ingredients, it makes a wonderful side. The other night, I decided to make it as an entrée.
Oh, wait! What’s farro? Apparently, it’s an ancient form of wheat. Pearled farro cooks in about 15 minutes and yields a tender but substantial grain with a delightful nutty flavor. It also has good nutrition, but check the gluten content if you’re sensitive. Basic cooking: 1 cup of farro in 2.5 cups water or broth, simmer for 16 minutes, test (should be al dente). Drain and rinse.
So for this sautéed farro entre, we start with these ingredients:
Here we have, clockwise from top: black pepper, garlic salt (I know, I know, but it’s easy), EVOO, a great big handful of arugula, about 10 shrimp (16-20’s), browned bacon, shrimp shells, a couple eggs, some sliced green onion, vegetables (corn, purple onion, red bell pepper), and finally in the plastic bag, a cup of dry farro, cooked and chilled.
Before we start cooking the farro, let’s put a 3qt bowl in the oven at 150-160 to hold the finished farro sautee, and a green salad to serve on the side.
Sautee the shrimp shells to flavor the bacon drippings:
When fragrant and the shells are all pink, remove and discard. Then add the vegetables:
I let the vegs go to fragant, softening, and the corn gets a bit of color. You’ll know, it’s not rocket science. Then add the farro:
I want medium high at this point, we want to get the whole shebang pretty darned hot and toasty. At this point, I season with garlic salt and ground black pepper. Now, add the shrimp and bacon:
Sautee like crazy, until the shrimp are nearly cooked, then fold in the arugula:
When the arugula is wilted, add the green onions and sautee to combine and warm , then transfer to the warm bowl to hold while you fry a couple eggs:
I didn’t get any pics of frying the eggs, which is OK because I just fried two of the worst eggs I’ve ever friend. In this spot, imagine a picture of frying an egg.
To plate, a big mound of the farro, topped with a fried egg, and a green salad on the side:
This was one of the truly great “comfort food” dinners I’ve ever made. When we were finished, we just sort of sat there and smiled. Well, a better looking fried egg would have been nice, but wouldn’t have tasted any better =8-/
If you shop for ingredients, this can be a very economical dinner, too. It’s red bell pepper season, so I got 3/$0.99. The pearled farro is a bit price, around $4/lb at Whole Foods. I included shrimp in this dish because Safeway had 16-20 shrimp on sale for $6.99/lb. On another day, it might have been scallops, or something else.
Like fried rice, this dish is almost infinitely adaptable. I suppose that with a few of the basics, you could use it to clean out the old fridge’ when too many bits and pieces stack up. And I enjoy the sauté experience, cook for a minute, flip, cook for another minute, shake.
Oh, you can add toasted nuts, too! YumYum! Enjoy.
G’day all, and may God continue to bless America.