photograph by Mariontxa
Recipe adapted from Anna Thomas
Farro and lentils have virtually identical cooking times, so this is amazingly easy. And it’s good hot or cold—I’ve made delicious salads with it, adding wild arugula, sliced pears, red grapes, walnuts, cherry tomatoes, in whatever combination is in season.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1–2 dried chiles de árbol
3 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups (10 ounces) semi-pearled farro, rinsed
½ cup (3 ounces) Le Puy lentils, rinsed
2 ½ cups mild vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon crushed dried lavender
a sprig of fresh thyme
1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Break the chile pods in half and shake out their seeds. Add the chiles to the pan along with the garlic cloves and bay leaf and stir over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Add the rinsed farro to the aromatics and stir for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the lentils, vegetable broth, 1 cup of water and the herbs. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pan and cook for 25 minutes. Check the grain and the lentils. If both are tender, turn off the heat; if the pilaf feels a little underdone, give it another 5 minutes. At that time, all or most of the liquid should be absorbed. Turn off the heat and leave the lid on for 5 minutes. If there is any broth left in the bottom of the pan, drain it off through a sieve.
3. Fluff the pilaf lightly with a fork, discard the chiles and bay leaf and serve warm with any vegetable or cold in a salad.