Sweet Potato Farro

Tonight’s main course is calves’ liver with caramelized onions.  I try to buy calves’ liver whenever it looks great at the market, since it’s a potent source of iron and relatively lean and light, while tasting rich and luxurious.  I’m making the liver and onions in the same manner I wrote about in my prior post (“Calves Liver My Way”), so I won’t be featuring the liver in this post.  Instead, I’m writing about one of my side dishes.

I love to make butternut squash with grains–almost any grain–quinoa, rice, bulgar–they all taste good with cubes of soft sweet butternut squash.  Sweet potato is another source of rich starchy sweetness which combines well with other grains.  There are white-fleshed sweet potatoes and orange-fleshed ones.  Tonight I’m using the orange-fleshed variety because it’s much easier to come by in most markets. 

The sweet potatoes get peeled and cubed, then slowly sauteed with a touch of onion and thyme, covered on low heat until they’re soft and lightly caramelized.  The farro gets boiled in a bit of chicken broth or salted water for about a half-hour.  The two are combined and anointed with a little raw extra-virgin olive oil.  This combination of starch and grain is deeply satisfying, nutty and sweet.  It’s great with pork and smokey meats of all kind.

Along with the liver and farro, I’m serving some plain boiled broccoli.  Not that I’m eating this meal strictly for my health, but it truly is a meal teeming with vitamins and minerals.

Sweet Potato Farro

serves 4 as a side dish

3 medium orange sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2″ cubes

4 tbls olive oil

1/4 c finely diced onion or shallot

1 cup farro

2 1/2 c chicken broth or water with 1/2 tsp salt

salt and black pepper to taste.

Place farro in cold broth or water and bring to a boil.  Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.   While simmering the farro, saute the sweet potato cubes in olive oil with spices on low heat, covered for 10 minutes, then uncovered for 10 minutes, or until golden on the edges and soft on the inside. 

Combine sweet potato and farro and drizzle with a bit of raw olive oil.  Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasoning.

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