Farro with Spring Vegetables is a hearty and healthy dish that’s delicious on its own or paired with any meat protein. Farro’s nutrients will help keep you full and satisfied for hours
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I was a huge fan of The Food Network in the early days, and watched it religiously almost every day. But when their focus turned to competition shows, I boycotted them for a while. I watched for recipe inspiration from my favorite chefs, not for watching people race each other to make a dish. Then my obsession turned to Discovery ID, and any other channel with true crime shows. The only shows I won’t watch are the ones about women who live alone and get attacked in their house. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night!
Over the last couple of years I began watching The Food Network a little bit more. Last Saturday all the true crime shows were repeats, so I switched over and the whole morning was about spring recipes. I’m usually not a fan of the shows featuring non-chef celebrities…maybe I’m a little jealous that they got a cooking show just because of who they are. But I do love Trisha Yearwood and her show Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. I saw her and Garth pretty regularly when they had a football suite at OSU. They are both so nice, genuine and down to earth, and both gave me a big hug every game.
I’m always looking for ways to incorporate healthier foods in my diet. It’s no secret that I enjoy indulgent food, but I do also like to eat healthy. My challenge with making some healthy recipes is to make them taste good. It took me years to even attempt to try quinoa, and now it’s one of my favorite superfoods. I use it regularly, and two of my favorite recipes are my Kale and Quinoa Patties and my Asian Quinoa Meatballs. Once I conquered quinoa, my next challenge was farro.
WHAT IS FARRO?
Farro is a whole grain, and also one of the ancient grains, meaning it’s been around for centuries. Farro is a great source of iron, high in fiber, and heart-healthy. It is a grain, so it is NOT for a gluten-free diet. But it’s perfect for all kinds of other recipes, and popular in vegan and vegetarian dishes.
So far, Roasted Mushroom and Green Bean Farro Salad is my only farro recipe on the blog. And since I’m training for the OKC Memorial Half Marathon, I’m cleaning up my eating. On Saturday I saw Trisha’s recipe for Farro with Vidalia Onion and Asparagus, and I immediately knew I had to make my own version. And that’s how Farro with Spring Vegetables was born
INGREDIENTS FOR FARRO WITH SPRING VEGETABLES
- Farro is extremely bland on its own. I toast the farro in a dry saucepan to release the nuttiness, then cook it for about 20 minutes. Rather than water, I use Homemade Vegetable Broth, but store-bought broth is a good substitute
- I use asparagus and peas, but you can be as versatile as you want. If you can find spring peas, then those are perfect. I never can find them, so I use frozen peas
- Trisha uses Vidalia onions…I use regular yellow onions. Either one will work, and the key is to cook the onions low and slow for about 20 minutes. They won’t caramelize, but they will get soft, golden brown and delicious
- Once the onions are golden, I add thinly sliced garlic and cook for 5 minutes. I then add the vegetables, plus salt, pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, and Red Pepper Flakes, and cook until the asparagus is tender-crisp
- I cook the onions in a little bit of butter, plus a pinch of salt. To make Farro with Spring Vegetables vegan you can use vegan butter or Avocado Oil. I prefer butter, because I think it works better to get the onions golden.
Farro with Spring Vegetables is really delicious. Farro is a very chewy grain, so it can be an acquired taste. But once you do, you’ll love it. I love the contrast in texture between the farro and the tender-crisp vegetables. The golden onions and garlic add a mellow sweetness, and the red pepper flakes add a kick.
Farro with Spring Vegetables is delicious hot off the stove, room temperature, or even cold from the fridge. That makes it perfect to eat immediately, or serve at a party, picnic, or tailgate. Farro with Spring Vegetables also pairs really well with any meat protein. I’ll eat it as a side for dinner, or by itself as a healthy lunch.
I think this means I need to watch The Food Network a little more often now, for more inspiration!
Adapted from Trisha’s Southern Kitchen
SHOP THIS RECIPE
- 1/2 cup Italian pearled farro, dry
- 1 cup vegetable broth (I use homemade)
- 10 spears asparagus, ends cut and cut into 1" pieces
- 1/3 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons fresh-cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less, to taste)
In a medium saucepan, add farro. Toast over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes. Add broth, bring to a bowl, and reduce to a low simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt. Turn heat to low, and cook onions, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
Add asparagus, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes to skillet. Toss well to combine, and cook for 3 minutes. Add peas and cook for 2 minutes
Add farro to skillet, stir to combine well. Portion into bowls and serve