Monday, April 12

A Recipe for Springtime Farro with Baby Artichokes, Mushrooms, and Peas

farmers' market baby artichokes 0014

According to In Style, shades of gray, scarlet, and yellow are hot this spring. I, however, prefer green and purple, as in fresh English pea green and baby artichoke purple. Apparently, so do San Diego's farmers; our farmers' markets have some of the most stylish looking artichokes around -- ranging from petite purple baby artichokes to hefty, celery green Big Heart artichokes.

Despite their diminutive size, baby artichokes are fully mature artichokes with a full-bodied, earthy flavor. They simply don't grow as large as Globe or Big Heart artichokes because they're picked from the lower part of the artichoke plant. As a result, the characteristic fuzzy choke isn't all that fuzzy and can be eaten. Indeed, other than a few tough outer leaves, the entire artichoke is edible. (Learn more about baby artichokes here.)

Baby artichokes are delicious in many dishes ranging from risotto and pasta to salads and soups. Paired with Italian Farro or emmer, as in this Farro with Baby Artichokes, Mushrooms, and Peas, baby artichokes are exceptionally stylish.

dry farro beans

Farro is a wonderfully chewy, nutty flavored whole grain that has been used for over 6,000 years. Although used extensively in Italy, where it has been enjoyed since ancient Roman times, farro has only recently gained popularity here in The States.

Farro isn't always easy to find in grocery stores. The best place to buy farro is at an Italian market or deli. Otherwise, try organic markets or online sources. Know that farro is expensive: a 15-20 ounce bag ranges from $6-10. Once you taste it, though, you'll understand why it's pricey. Cooked farro is a delicious cross between bulgur and wheat berries -- firm, chewy, nutty, and satisfying. If you can't find farro, then barley or spelt make good substitutes.

By the way, if any In Style editors are reading this, don't worry, I'll be donning scarlet shortly, as in rhubarb scarlet.

springtime farro with baby artichokes, mushrooms, and peas

Springtime Farro with Baby Artichokes, Mushrooms, and Peas
Makes 4 servings
Print recipe only here.

1/2 cup uncooked farro
8 baby artichokes, or 2 regular sized ones
The juice of 1 small lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup sliced white button or cremini mushrooms
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup cannelini beans, drained
1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup fresh or unthawed frozen peas
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons lightly toasted pistachio nuts
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

1. Soak farro in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain. Place in medium pot, and cover with 3-4 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Lower to a rolling boiling, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Cooked farro should be firm and chewy but not hard. Drain any remaining water, and place in a bowl.

2. Meanwhile, fill a medium sized pot with water and the juice of 1 lemon (which prevents the artichokes from oxidizing, or turning brown), and bring to a boil. Remove any tough or damaged outer leaves from the artichokes. Trim the tops and the bottoms, and slice into quarters. Boil for 3-4 minutes, or until just tender when pierced with a fork. Drain and plunge in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

3. In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. Add mushrooms and shallot, and saute 5-7 minutes, or until mushrooms are lightly browned. Add wine. Allow alcohol to burn off for about 5 minutes. Add the cooked farro, beans, broth, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir well, and cook 3-4 minutes. Stir in peas and lemon juice. Cook for 2 minutes, or just until peas begin to soften. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley, cheese, and pistachios. Drizzle servings with extra virgin olive oil.

You might also enjoy these whole grains recipes from Food Blogga:
Farro and Grilled Vegetable Salad
Warm Bulgur Salad with Beets, Fennel, and Oranges
Mediterranean Wheatberry Salad with Lentils and Chickpeas

Here are more farro recipes you might enjoy:
Spring Farro Risotto recipe at Kitchen Sink Recipes
Spiced Farro with a Hint of Cheese recipe at Consumable Joy
Fruity Farro Salad with Lemon Chicken recipe at London Foodie in New York
Farro Salad with Asparagus, Red Bell Pepper, and Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette recipe at Kalyn's Kitchen


Unplanned Cooking said...

So pretty! Even the colors feel like spring.

Jessica said...

I have never had farro, but I hear it is delicous!

Joanne said...

All of the different textures and flavors in this dish compliment each other so well! I love your use of so many seasonal ingredients. Splendid!

Snooky doodle said...

i like these spring recipe

consumableJoy said...

I love farro AND baby artichokes -- and now I am dying to try this. So happy you posted this because I am always looking for new ways to cook farro.

(I posted a super simple sidedish of farro with cheese and nutmeg yesterday

Maria said...

The artichokes are beautiful. Perfect recipe for spring.

Rambling Tart said...

I love your photo of the artichokes! Such lush colors. :-) This dish sounds perfectly healthy and delicious. :-)

Anonymous said...

Those are just gorgeous artichokes. I love your photos!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

unplanned cooking-Thank you!

jessica-Oh, you must try it. Soon!

joanne-Thank you. I felt inspired. :)

kalyn-I know what you mean.

consumblejoy-thanks! I just added a post to your recipe too. Sounds simply delicious!

anonymous-Thanks so much!

maria-Thank you!

ramblingtart-They sing spring to me!

Mary Bergfeld said...

This dish epitomizes spring. I don't have nearly enough recipes for farro so I really am pleased to have another to try. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Dinners and Dreams said...

What a gorgeous color in these artichokes and what a wonderful salad!
Have a wonderful evening!


Cookie baker Lynn said...

I love those baby artichokes! I grew artichokes once and was thrilled with the little guys. I gave up, though, when insects ate more than we did. Boo on bugs, I say!

The French said...

This is exactly what I need to be eating. Not the vanilla shake I just downed. Thanks for this!

glutenfreeforgood said...

I have to pass on the farro (gluten), although this deal sounds delicious! BUT, I must comment on how gorgeous your photograph is. The colors are amazing. Beautifully done, Susan!

Livin Local said...

The post is lovely food for the eyes, and the recipe seems a lovely Spring dish for the tummy.

The Teacher Cooks said...

This is a feast for the eyes almost too pretty to eat. How did you ever bring yourself to cook the beautiful artichokes?

carolyn said...

i'm still trying to get my hands on farro, as it's tricky to find around here. but i love it so! beautiful artichokes!

Half Baked said...

Perfect Spring dish! The baby artichokes are gorgeous!

Cara said...

Those are some gorgeous baby artichokes (purple is my favorite color, and I go wild for purple-hued veggies!) I've been looking for baby artichokes lately and finally ran into some the other day, but they are not nearly as pretty. I am just excited to have found them though, nevermind purple ones!

Caitlin said...

Great photos. That first photo is particularly stunning!

krissy @ said...

nicely done! i love these ingredients... artichokes, mushrooms, and peas go well together! i just made a spinach and artichoke dip with king crab meat on my blog! yay to artichokes!

Amy said...

I have farro in the cupboard and just saw beautiful artichokes at the market and thought to myself, "when am I am going to use them"...thank you for giving me a reason to go back to the market for the artichokes and to use my farro! I love your blog Susan!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Thank goodness for the great Italian markets in Boston and Providence. Farro is easy to find here.

Table Talk said...

I love cooking with farro this time of year when the evenings are still a bit chilly. Farro has a nice warmth to it. Nice blend for spring!

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Gorgeous dish, Susan! Needs more olive oil, though. Or maybe bacon... ;-)

Big fan of farro, and pasta made from the flour is really special. And for readers who can't find farro (whis is NOT spelt!) locally, both the grain and the flour are available online.

przepisy said...

Great colours, fantastic recipe!!!

Manggy said...

Just looking at all that beautiful spring green is pumping my veins full of positive energy to drive out the malaise of, uh, lacking vegetables, haha. I want a bowl!!

CookingwithColey said...

I just came across your blog, and this dish looks incredible. I've been looking for new ways to make whole grains like barley and quinoa, so this is a perfect alternative. I've also been looking for ways to utilize artichokes, as they are such a great spring veggie. Thanks for this idea and I'll let you know when I try it!

Deborah Dowd said...

I have never made farro, but anything with artichokes has got to be great!!

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

Ooh... This is SO up my alley. Farro is my favorite grain (I'm actually beginning to prefer it to risotto which makes me worry a little;) This looks divine - the essence of spring in a bowl.

Jennywenny said...

Mmm, looks delicious, I dont know if I've cooked with farro, I've tried quinoa, barley, bulgar, and a bunch of others so I must look out for it next time I'm shopping!

Purple and green are dear to my heart too, suffragette colours and also team in training, I'll be riding my bike for them soon in the Rock and Roll Marathon!

Was great to meet you saturday!