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 

Vegetable Farro Stew with Figs and Pine Nuts
Photo: © Christina Holmes
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
6 hrs 30 mins


  • 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


  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.

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