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Oh Great Farro

1 Jan

After all the excesses of the holidays are over, and I do hope they’re over, I always feel the need to atone for my culinary “sins” by eating lots of greens and whole grains.

The Christmas Strawberry

Not that we don’t eat a lot of these things already, but, one day during that week between Christmas and New Year, my brain gets locked into a loop of recipes featuring lacinato kale, broccoli rabe, whole wheat pastas and yes, farro.

New Year's Eve Prospect Park Fireworks

There’s a classy Italian joint here in the Lower East Side called ‘inoteca that the boy and I like to eat brunch at whenever we can. I always end up ordering the same panini there because I can never recall its name, their menu is unnecessarily complicated (you know the type, all in Italian, terse descriptions) and my memory’s a little shoddy (I think I usually get the prosciutto cotto, pepper agro dolce & grana, but to be honest, I’d have to taste it to be sure).

On the other hand, the boy always gets the same dish because he loves it; Warm Farro & Roasted Fruits, a kind of morning gruel made with a little whole milk and topped with caramelized fruits. It’s a perfect dish; warm, comforting, creamy and hearty, that sits comfortably at the intersection of oatmeal and risotto.

It was this breakfast dish, but a savory version, I was trying to emulate last week when my need for an atonement diet hit. I started with garlic and celery for sweetness and flavor and topped it with a bracingly bitter mixture of broccoli rabe and blood oranges. Every note of the dish was pitch perfect, the farro was creamy and sweet, the topping pleasantly bitter and spicy.

Night Farro with Broccoli Rabe

But, when on a roll, why stop with dinner? A few days later we decided to try and actually recreate ‘inoteca’s fruity farro. This time I started with my favorite Golden Berry Mix from Trader Joe’s and topped it all with another blood orange, banana slices and a handful of blueberries. It was really delicious, but I maintain it paled in comparison to the original (the boy maintains I’m crazy).

Day Farro with Fruit

Of the two, I’m most proud of the savory version. Perhaps I’ll just stick to making up my own variations of other people’s dishes, rather than trying to copy them note for note.

Head below the jump for the recipes for Night Farro & Day Farro

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