Oh, Farro, Farro. Where art thou Farro?
I have checked in Whole Foods. I have checked the markets. I have checked Amazon for god’s sake, Farro! (Okay, Okay, I found Farro on Amazon, but I simply refuse to pay that shipping cost.)
Recently, I’ve been on a new grain kick, trying all those ambiguous and formerly “dis-gusting“ food sources. Barley, millet, quinoa, bulgar… grains, blasé to some, are new and exciting to me and I’m having quite a time cooking up new recipes and feeling rather healthy and nutritious. My white whale, however, is farro.
I really want to try this grain. Firstly, I wanted to try the recipe for farro with green onion sauce in Heidi’s book, Super Natural Cooking. Secondly, (okay, this is really firstly, but I don’t want to seem like some kind of geek that lives and breathes ancient Roman history) farro was the “grain of the legions.” How cool is that? Thirdly, I simply want to try it, and once I get something in my head, it’s hard to forget about it, even if things become bleak.
I can’t find farro at Whole Foods, and Whole Foods has everything. I’m hoping that there’s a bag somewhere, eluding me on some odd shelf. Princeton rocks at having the odd, hippy-healthy food items, so it’s not encouraging that I haven’t located farro yet, but I’ll keep plugging away (ordering from Amazon if I really, really have to.)
In the meantime, I tackled Heidi’s recipe using pearl barley instead of farro. I tweaked the recipe to include some extra creme fraiche and took out the lemon and walnuts, creating a more savory-flavored dish. By all means, though, go to her site and try the real deal before mine—it’s delicious and fresh.
Farro Barley with Asparagus and Green Onion Sauce
- 5 cups beef stock
- 2 cups barley, picked over and rinsed
- 1 pound asparagus, snapped and cut into ¼ inch slices
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 12 green onions, roughly chopped
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 4 oz. creme fraiche
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Chopped green onion
- Bring stock and barley to a simmer in a dutch oven, reduce heat, cover, and cook until barley is nearly ready (about 30 minutes), add asparagus and cook for another 5 or so minutes, or until asparagus is tender.
- Meanwhile, pour olive oil in small saucepan and add green onions. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until onions are tender. Remove from heat, placing onions in a bowl. If you have a hand blender, blend for a minute or two to mash up some (but not all) of the onions into a sauce, otherwise pulse a food processor.
- When barley/asparagus is ready, combine with onions. Add creme fraiche, salt, and pepper. Serve with a garnish of parm and green onions.