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Creamy Farro Pilaf with Kale and Crisped Shiitakes {Vegan}


All these months, I've been making farro wrong. I mean, it was fine, but it never wowed me. Then I read an article about slow cooking farro with a lot of liquid. The process renders it creamy - without any cream - and was perfect for a vegan dinner party I was cooking.


Ingredients serves 10 to 12
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced, approximately 1 C when raw
  • 2 C farro
  • 1/2 C white wine (I used a leftover Montmassot 2014 Picpoul de Pinet from this pairing)
  • 6 C organic vegetable stock
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 C chopped kale leaves
  • 1 t chili pepper flakes
  • 2 C shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 fresh herbs (I used parsley, oregano, and mint)

Procedure
Caramelize your onions. The trick to caramelizing onions: low heat for a long time. Place a tablespoon of olive oil in a flat bottom pan. Add the onions and stir to coat completely with oil. Spread the onions out over the bottom of the pan. Stirring occasionally, the onions will turn from white to clear, then golden and, finally, to a deep caramel brown. It might take 40 to 60 minutes.


In a medium saucepan, place the caramelized onions and farro. Pour in all the liquids and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until farro is tender and creamy, approximately 60 to 75 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.

Add a splash of olive oil to a flat bottom pan; I use the same pan in which I caramelized the onions. Quickly wilt the kale. It will turn a deeper shade of green but still be firm. Sprinkle with chili pepper flakes, then fold the spiced kale into the farro.

Crisp your shiitake mushrooms just before serving. Here's how to crisp mushrooms. As the mushrooms are finishing, toss the fresh herbs into the pan.


To serve, transfer the farro to a serving dish. Top with mushrooms. Serve immediately.

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