Hazelnut Currant Farro2011-03-05
It is now about three months and counting before we get to visit the Tuscan countryside of Italy. Farro is an ancient grain from the Tuscan area that we continue to enjoy and look forward to trying while in Italy. Its chewy texture and nutty flavor are a great change from rice or pasta side dishes. Tonight, we decided to create a new Farro recipe to compliment a dinner size salad topped with roast chicken.
This recipe will provide you a great textured side, with some sweetness and crunch from the hazelnuts and cucumber. The cucumber is an optional add that I drew from some Thai fried rice I have had at restaurants. Your selection of wine could just as easily be a Riesling or even an Italian Moscato but we had the Zinfendal in the cellar so that became part of the recipe. As long as it is a sweet wine you will get the same flavors.
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces diced sweet onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup farro
2 1/4 cups white zinfandel wine
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
1/4 cup currants
1/2 cup diced cucumber
salt and pepper to taste
Toast the hazelnuts and set aside to cool. Put the oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic to the heated oil and cook until softened (about 4 minutes). Add farro and a pinch of salt and cook for two minutes coating the farro in the oil. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover.
Cook the farro for 20 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the Herbes de Provence, stir and cook for another 5 minutes. With a fork fluff up the frarro and add the hazelnuts and currents. Stir mixture and season to taste. Add the cucumbers to the mixture or each individual serving as this is best served warm.
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