Tuscan Vegetable Farro Bowls

Today was in the single digits in Boston and this dish was just right blend of warmth. The holidays and recent covid surge didn’t allow for much time in the kitchen, but cooking this was simply good for the soul. And extra healthy ingredients make this even more enjoyable!

Serves 4 | vegetarian, vegan option, gluten free option | Less than 45 minutes

  • For the farro
  • 1 cup dry farro (sub brown rice if gluten-free)
  • 3 cups water (2 cups if making brown rice)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (omit if vegan)
  • For the vegetables
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 pint baby Bella or white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large zucchini (or 2 small), sliced in half, then sliced thin
  • 4 large kale leaves, stems removed and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15oz can white beans (can sub chickpeas)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Parsley or pea shoots for serving

Rinse the farro in a mesh strainer than place in a medium pot with the 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and let simmer about 30 minutes until most of the water absorbed.

While the farro is cooking, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the zucchini, mushrooms, a pinch of salt, a few cracks of black pepper, thyme, and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Place the kale on top and add the wine and diced tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 4-5 minutes then uncover and stir in the beans. Cook for another 4-5 minutes until most the liquid is absorbed and vegetables are cooked through. Set aside.

When nearly all of the water is absorbed from the farro (should still be bubbling and very starchy, but minimal liquid), uncover and add the remaining 1 tsp olive oil, pinch of salt and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly and let cool slightly until thick and creamy.

Spoon 1/2 cup farro into a bowl and top with 1 cup of vegetables and a sprinkle of parsley or pea shoots. Serve warm.

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