Emmer Pilaf

Emmer, which also masquerades under the name farro, is an historic whole grain which can make a hearty side or meal. I first came across it when we watched the Good Food documentary. I then had it in a delicious  Emmer and beans, with a mache salad on the siderisotto at a dinner party and have finally gotten my hands on a bag from Bluebird Grain Farms. (It only took a trip to PCC, but hey, that took some effort.)  Tired of eating veggies we stored in the freezer, we were hungry for something fresh and took a field trip to the U-district farmer’s market last weekend. We scored more carrots than two humans need, lots of irresistible cheese, many beautiful and sundry greens, and some lovely dried beans. Tonight, I added the beans and the farro together to make a vegetarian (read: let’s not eat any more pork tonight, dear) meal.

There are many recipes for emmer risotto/pilaf out there, including the ones on Bluebird’s website. I either didn’t have the ingredients or patience for the recipes that I found, so I just made one up, combining the basic cooking instructions on the back of the bag with the other recipes that I had read. What resulted was a simple and yummy bowl of comfort food.

Emmer Pilaf

1 cup beautiful dried beans (mine were cranberry)
1 cup whole grain emmer
2 tbls. olive oil
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
1/3 cup white wine
6 cups stock (I used turkey since we seem to have an overabundance of it; veggie or chicken would probably work just fine)
3 sprigs thyme (or other herb on hand)
2 tbls. cream (optional and decadent)

  1. Put beans on to soak early in the day. Cover completely with cool water for at least 6 hours.  (To quick soak the beans, cover with water and boil for about 3 minutes. Take off the heat. Cover with lid and let sit for 1 hour.)
  2. Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic. Saute over medium- low with the olive oil.
  3. After about 5 minutes, add emmer and toast for about 3 minutes. Stir in the wine.
  4. When the wine is absorbed, add the stock. Stir in beans. Cover and cook on low for about an hour and fifteen minutes.
  5. Drain off the liquid. (Everyone seems to think that if you reserve this it will be good in a soup or used as stock.) Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle in the cream, if using. Dive in.
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2 thoughts on “Emmer Pilaf

  1. Pingback: Bluebird Grains at T&C « Small Potatoes

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