As Lisa has mentioned before, there are some nights where after coming home from work, and going to the gym or an exercise class, there just isn’t that much time to get dinner on the table. This is one of those lovely recipes that really does fit in one pot and takes 30 minutes from start to finish. Not only is it delicious the day after, but it’s so flavorful that it’s hard to stop from finishing off the whole pot in the first sitting.
I found this recipe a while ago on Smitten Kitchen, one of my favorite sources of inspiration for dinner. Not only did it look delicious, it really did live up to its lofty promise of being a 30 minute dinner! I always double the recipe, since Deb’s “two hearty mains” is more like one serving for my always hungry husband.
I’ve also recently discovered the joys of variated olive oil flavors, after being introduced to Sciabica’s (and yes, their website is really aptly named because the oils really do taste like “sunshine in a bottle”). Back when I lived in San Francisco, my avid chef friend had given me some samples as a birthday gift, knowing I loved to cook. She had come across a stand for Sciabica’s at one of these plentiful farmer’s markets, and bought some bottles after having a pleasant chat with someone who appeared to be the family patriarch. It turned out to be a great purchase. Indeed, during the olive oil scandal when companies were being called out for not really using olives, Sciabica’s was held up as the shining example of “real” olive oil. Plus with flavors such as basil, lemon, and grapefruit, it’s great to keep a couple of bottles in the kitchen to add a little flavor.
Why the long digression about olive oil? Well because a dash of basil olive oil to this dish really completes it as a gourmet dinner. Pair it with a nice California Zinfandel and enjoy!
Serves 4 hearty mains (or 2.5 extremely hungry people)
- 5 cups water
- 2 cup semi-pearled farro
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 18 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt
- Up to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- Few basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
- Grated parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
- Place water and farro in a large pot to presoak while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Adding each ingredient to the pot as you finish preparing it, cut onion in half again, and very thinly slice it into quarter-moons.
- Thinly slice garlic cloves as well.
- Halve or quarter tomatoes.
- Add salt, pepper flakes (to taste) and 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan, and set a timer for 30 minutes.
- Bring uncovered pan (no lid necessary) up to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally.
- When the timer rings, the farro should be perfectly cooked, seasoned and the cooking water should be almost completely absorbed. If needed, cook it for 5 additional minutes, until farro is more tender.
Serve onto bowls. Drizzle farro lightly with additional olive oil, scatter with basil and parmesan. Eat immediately.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.