I made this dish a couple of days ago to try something different. So what is Farro? Farro is a grain. This ancient grain is high in fiber. It is a great source of protein, b vitamins, iron, and magnesium. Farro may increase immunity and promote heart health as well. While this is a grain and contains gluten proteins this unrefined wheat may be tolerable for those with a mild gluten sensitivity. While I was shopping in World Market I found some and the package has been sitting in my pantry waiting on me to create something delicious. I chose to make a risotto style dish. This recipe is vegan and to my surprise quite tasty. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.
1/2 Fennel Bulb
Mushrooms ( I used 7 baby Portobello mushrooms but you can use what you prefer)
2 Cloves of garlic
2 Cubes of Not- Chick’n Bullion
2 Cups of water ( use to dissolve bullion to make broth)
1 Cup of Farro ( rinsed and strained )
1 Cup of Eggplant ( soaked in cool saltwater to remove bitterness)
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon of Grape seed Oil
Dice the fennel bulb, shallots, mushrooms, garlic, and eggplant into medium-sized pieces and set aside. Heat the 2 cups of water to make vegan chicken broth from bullion cubes. In a medium to large saucepan heat 1 teaspoon of grape seed oil. Sauté the fennel and shallots until the fennel starts to get tender and the shallots begin to turn translucent. Once the shallots are translucent add the mushrooms and continue to cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. While that is cooking go ahead and mix the bullion cubes and water in a bowl or measuring cup.
Next add eggplant and garlic to the pan. Continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes making sure not to burn the garlic. At this point add the rinsed and drained Farro to the pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Incorporate well. Add 1 cup of broth and increase the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Once the mixture starts to simmer cover, turn heat down to low and reduce the broth stirring half way through. This should take about 10 minutes. Add the second cup and repeat the last step. This is where you can decide how soft or firm you want your grain to be. As the Farro cooks it takes of a firm but chewy texture similar to rice. You should still have some liquid in the pan. Continue to cook until desired texture has been achieved. I paired this dish with roasted cauliflower, roasted red potatoes, and a green salad. Enjoy.