“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
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 It
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.
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.
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.
Discard the herb bundle, season the farro stew with salt and serve with the garnishes at the table.
Herb-scented, light-bodied Italian red.
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