Vegetable Farro Stew with Figs and Pine Nuts

"I'm not a vegetarian," says chef Grant Achatz. "But at home I mainly eat grains and vegetables." His minimalist slow-cooker stew features farro, eggplant, artichokes and three kinds of pepper, and is sweetened with dried figs and raisins.

Slideshow: Hearty Stews
  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

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Ingredients

  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 5 oregano sprigs
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 2 small artichokes
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 heads of garlic, 1/4 inch cut off the tops
  • 1 lemon, sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 1 Cubanelle pepper, sliced 1/3 inch thick
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced 1/3 inch thick
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced 1/3 inch thick
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 large Japanese eggplant, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 cup dried Black Mission figs (5 ounces), stemmed
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 6 wedges
  • 1/2 pound large cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small green zucchini, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow squash, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 6 ounces kale, stemmed and leaves quartered
  • Toasted pine nuts, chopped fresh oregano, lemon wedges, freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and sherry vinegar, for garnish

How to make this recipe

  1. Using kitchen twine, tie the rosemary, oregano and thyme sprigs into a bundle. With a serrated knife, cut off the top third of the artichokes. Snap off the small leaves from around the artichoke stem. Cut the artichokes in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scrape out the hairy chokes and discard them.
  2. Turn a 6- to 61/2-quart slow cooker to high and set the timer for 6 hours. Add the artichokes and the next 17 ingredients, up to and including the cherry tomatoes, then add the herb bundle; spread the ingredients in even layers. Cover the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours.
  3. Stir the stew gently and add the zucchini, yellow squash and kale, stirring to submerge them in the liquid. Cover and cook for 2 hours longer.
  4. Discard the herb bundle, season the farro stew with salt and serve with the garnishes at the table.

Suggested Pairing

Herb-scented, light-bodied Italian red.

Contributed By Photo © Christina Holmes Published November 2014

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