In its raw, whole state I like to grind it up in a relegated coffee-mill and use it to make breads, crackers, pasta or make Polenta with it…….the original cream of wheat breakfast item. I refer you now to my earlier posting “An Army Marches on its Belly”.
Once I have cooked the whole grain, I can use it as a smaller component in a salad or I could make it the primary ingredient in a salad. I like to stir it into soups or use it as a foundation for a stew or braise.
Cook it as you would brown rice in a ratio of 2:1, two parts water, one part grain, salted, simmering, covered for 45 minutes.
Left-overs can be included with your morning oatmeal for more texture .
Simple cooking also involves simple eating. So, to review, you can start your day and end it also with farro.
For breakfast, toasted farro bread, left-over whole grains added to oatmeal and omelettes. For lunch, a soup with farro added, farro salad, farro crackers. And then later, in the evening, which is when I cook most, that stew I referenced earlier becomes something else.
Wintertime is pretty much the only time of year I really use spices. I don’t particularly enjoy too much eat heat but I love warmth where you can actually taste without being scalded alive.
North African Tagines or stews work for me. A Tagine has versatility in it’s favor. Classically, it was a stew of sheep meat or camel, though not always. Chicken could be used and if you lived close to the coast, there is nothing more delicious than a spicy seafood stew made from whatever the fishermen brought in from their night out.
Dear reader, I remain your humble peasant and have nothing so rich to share with you. Except for my interpretation of simple cooking.
My North African inspired vegetable stew includes a rendition of black beans, carrots, rutabaga, onion, garlic, ginger, raisins, tomato, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, bay,oregano and easy on the chili powder.
On a wintry Boston evening, it was warm, inviting and enveloping for all its simple intrigue. Gotta love those root vegetables.
The same relegated coffee mill also doubles as a spice-grinder for the cumin and coriander seeds. So whenever I bake freshly ground whole grains for breads, spice somehow gently permeates, particularly the crust. I’m always romanced by the notion of desert caravans, shimmering suns, orange groves and how these spices ended up in anyone’s pantry. It is an interesting history but that’s another day.
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