March 21, 2011

Roasted Beet Farrotto

My search for farro was successful! Thank you Whole Foods. Although, no thank you for putting it on the top shelf. I had to borrow someone's freakishly tall boyfriend to get it for me. Thank you freakishly tall man in the pasta and grains aisle at the Alexandria Whole Foods!

I have to admit, before making this recipe I was scared of beets. Scared that I would cook them incorrectly and they would taste like dirt. Scared that I would make a red mess in my kitchen and my dog walker would call the police because she would think that I murdered someone in my kitchen and couldn't be bothered to clean up the evidence. But I am happy to report that none of those things happened! Beets are totally manageable!

I made a couple changes to Mario Batali's recipe - I have a feeling that the one on Babbo's website was edited down from a massive restaurant-size recipe and it just needed some tweaking. My version is below.

Roasted Beet Farrotto
Adapted from Mario Batali
Serves 4 as a side dish


1 large red beet
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (also available at Whole Foods, or you can make your own)
1 1/2 cups farro
1/2-3/4 cup chicken stock

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Trim the top off the beet. Place beet in a piece of aluminum foil large enough to encase the beet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap up the beet and roast until tender, about 40 minutes. (My beet took 50 minutes to roast, but it was in a 375 oven for the first half because I was making cookies, too.) When cool enough to handle, peel the beet. (Having never made beets before, I searched the internet for the best way to peel them. Some people say to just use your hands and wash them immediately. Some people say to use a paper towel, so as to minimize the red that touches your hands. I just used tongs to peel off the skin and that seemed to work just fine.) Dice the beet into small cubes. Place the beets in a bowl and gently toss with the pomegranate molasses and salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook the farro in the boiling water until tender, but not completely cooked, about 14 minutes. Drain the farro and transfer to a saute pan with the chicken stock. Add the beet mixture and toss over high heat until most of the chicken stock has been absorbed and the farro is completely cooked through, about 3 minutes. (This is where you may need more chicken stock, depending on your farro.) Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper (mine did not need more of either), transfer to a serving dish and top with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve immediately.

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