Farro with Cranberries and Pecans

Farro with Cranberries and PecansSide Job
Truth be told, I am a Thanksgiving freeloader which means I do not usually host Thanksgiving. However, since food is my job, I have been thumbing through numerous magazines and cookbooks looking for interesting recipes for the big day and I have found a few that are intriguing enough that I gave them a try.

Most people are pretty traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving and are resistant to change, myself included. I have been known to pout like a child if certain things are missing. However, if the usual required dishes adorn the Thanksgiving table alongside a few new introductions I can be talked off the ledge. The bonus is sometimes you run across a recipe that works in everyday life and not just for special occasions. The recipe below falls into that category.

I have always loved the nutty flavor of farro. The fact that it is easy to prepare is a bonus. Farro is the perfect fall side dish. Whether it’s plain with a little butter or dressed up with garlic and onions it can be a welcome change from the usual when served beside your favorite roasted meats. In this case, the addition of cranberries and pecans just screams turkeys and pilgrims. Ergo, it would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving feast.

You don’t have to wait for Turkey Day, though. I made this the other night and served it alongside some pan-fried pork chops and it was delicious…

Farro with Cranberries and Pecans
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Yields 6 servings

4 cups chicken stock
1-1/2 cups pearled farro
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Cook the farro
Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan.

Stir in the farro and 1 teaspoon of salt. Return the broth to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until tender (about 15 to 20 minutes).

Drain the farro well. Then spread it out on a rimmed baking sheet and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Finish the dish
Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it is softened but not browned (about 6 to 8 minutes). Add the garlic and cranberries and cook until the garlic is fragrant (about 1 minute).

Add the drained farro and cook until warmed through (about 3 to 5 minutes). Remove the dish from the heat and stir in the pecans and chopped parsley. Season the farrow with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

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