Cooking By Chance

April 10, 2020

It is truly amazing how creative we have become in the face of uncertainly. From making masks, checking on neighbors, shopping for others, people are truly coming together to conquer the unknown at this point. For many, cooking has taken over their lives since other meal sources like restaurants and diners are shuttered. The Internet has become a treasure trove of ideas for how to cope and cook. The refrigerator and pantry are our go to reserves that get us through each day and deciding what to eat pretty much depends on what is by chance on hand like the dish below, concocted from stuff in the back of the refrigerator and in my pantry. The attitude of this is what I’ve got and this is what I am going to make, is all the determination we need during tough times. Here is a recipe idea for a side or main dish but if some ingredients are not in your kitchen, substitute what you have like plain old rice for the farro and frozen vegetables. It’s our imagination of necessity that will serve us well.

Farro with Mixed Vegetables
Makes 8 servings

1 can cannellini beans (or other canned bean) drained and well rinsed
1 ½ cups farro
2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons minced parsley (or other herb on hand or dried herbs)
Salt and pepper to taste
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon

Place the beans in a medium size bowl and set aside.

Add the farro to a medium size pot and cover them with 3 cups water; bring to a boil then lower the heat and cook covered until farro is tender, about 12-15 minutes. Drain well and place in bowl with beans.

In a saute pan, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat; stir in the onion, sweet potatoes, and carrots and cook until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the zucchini and continue cooking until the zucchini is tender but not mushy.

Transfer mixture to the bowl with the farro. Combine well and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the remaining olive oil, cheese and parsley. Combine well, Add the lemon juice and zest and combine.

Serve hot.

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