Fennel, Peppers and Farro
This is hearty, savory and very adaptable. This dish materialized thanks to already cooked farro and a variety of vegetables in need of using up, including cauliflower leaves. If your grains are already cooked this comes together quite quickly. I had some homemade harissa on hand which elevated it further. I topped this particular version with meatballs.
- Make this your own with whatever grain you’d like–spelt, barley, rye, wheat berries and different spices.
- Vegetables like collard greens and kale are great to use in place of or with the cauliflower leaves and spices.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 medium fennel bulbs, any ratty outer layers removed, and bulbs chopped
2-3 sweet peppers, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional–taste a little bit of it first to evaluate heat level as they vary wildly) and use however much you’d like
2 teaspoons smoked paprika (pimenton)
4 cups cauliflower leaves, chopped (optional–see variations)
1/2 cup diced tomato, fresh or canned with juice
2 1/2 cups *cooked farro
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon harissa (optional–see headnote)
Olive oil, for finishing
*Cook 1 cup farro in 3 cups water with 1/2 teaspoon salt, covered for about 25-35 minutes, until some kernels burst open and they’re tender. Drain, and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, fennel, peppers and a few pinches of salt. Sauté, stirring often, until vegetables soften. Add pimenton, cauliflower leaves or other greens, if using, and tomato, bring to a simmer and cook gently for about 7-8 minutes. If it looks at all dry add a little water or more tomato, if you have it. Add the cooked farro and cook for a few more minutes, to warm through. Stir in harissa, if using, taste and adjust with salt and pepper. Serve hot or warm with a generous drizzle of olive oil.