Warm Farro Pilaf with Kale and Cranberries

This is basically the perfect fall/winter dish. Yeah, I said it. I just don't see how you can improve upon it. It has such a great combination of textures and flavors -- chewy, crunchy, savory, sweet, spicy -- it's a total party in your mouth. It's good enough to stand on its own, but it would also be a great paired with roasted root vegetables or roast chicken (for all my carnivorous friends in the audience).

Warm Farro Pilaf with Kale and Cranberries
From Vegetarian Times

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot, cut in half
  • 1 celery rib, cut in half
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 1/4 cups pearled farro
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 pound kale, center stem removed, chopped (about 4 packed cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. Aleppo pepper or 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
To make farro: Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrot, celery, and onion. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until vegetables start to brown. Add farro, and stir to coat grains with oil. Pour in broth and bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook 20 minutes, or until just tender; drain. Discard carrot, celery, and onion. Cool farro. (This step can be done ahead.)

To make pilaf: Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute diced onion 5 to 7 minutes. Add kale and cook another 5 to 7 minutes, or until just wilted. Reduce heat to medium, and stir in garlic and pepper. Cook 1 minute, then add farro. Saute 3 to 5 minutes, or until warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in dried cranberries and pine nuts.