Monday, May 14, 2012

RECIPE: Hadley Grass, Farro & Bacon

Art: Mary Nelen©
Recipe in the New York Times for a Farro Pasta with Nettles and Sausage recipe made me wonder and then begin to substitute. First of all, nettles, are very hard to find, even if you are a locavore. Pasta is diablo (process white flour - no fiber, few nutrients) and whole grain Jesus. This recipe below substitutes nettles with asparagus (Hadley Grass), farro for farro grain for farro pasta and bacon for sausage. (I didn't have sausage. Both sausage and bacon are local.) There was no refined flour in the fertile crescent. Camels, mirages and miracles but no white flour. Instead there was farro, an ancient grain that is on the list of offerings on my grain share.This version of the dish uses farro grain rather than pasta meaning that the white flour is left out.

Farro, Bacon and Asparagus Salad 

6 strips bacon (local from Chestnut Farm or Wells Tavern)
1C farro (local from the Pioneer Valley Grain people)
1/2 C celery, chopped fine
1 C onion, sliced fine
1T red pepper flakes 
10 spears asparagus, tips intact, cut into 1” pieces (see map)
rhubarb jucice (from stewed rhubarb sweetened with honey)
peppercorn juice (peppercorns in jar with vinegar)

Brown farro for 3 minutes, add 1-3/4 water and pinch salt
Cook for 20 to 30 minutes on simmer and remove from heat to cool.
Fry bacon slowly, remove grease, when cooked, transfer to drain on paper bag.
Sautee red pepper flakes in bacon fat for one to two minutes then add asparagus, celery and onion.
Cook vegetables for 15 minutes on low.
When farro is finished, drain and return to pan. When it has cooled, add the vegetable mixture and bacon. By now the onions should be nicely carmelized

Top with grated cheese, if desired and serve in large warm bowls.