Tuesday, April 22, 2014

roasted strawberry farro pudding


I'm fighting a losing battle against my sweet tooth. "Oh, I'll just eat one piece" turns to "just a small handful" turns to "yum yum yum chocolate! yum yum yum!"  I purposely didn't buy any Easter candy this year, but yet somehow it came home with us on Sunday. I blame the parent-bunnies.

I'm currently attempting to trick my inner crazed sugar monster with this strawberry farro pudding. It's sweet and indulgent without that just-ate-a-pound-of-chocolate guilt. Have we talked about my obsession with farro? Maybe. I can't remember, so I'll repeat... It has all the whole grain, protein, and fiber-filled goodness of quinoa, but with a more comforting, nutty, chewier texture. Last week Wegmans had boxes of farro on sale for 99¢. I bought four boxes. And if my cracker jack kitchen could hold it, I would have bought more. 

We first fell in love with farro last year when Smitten Kitchen posted this recipe for One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes. It's become a go-to recipe for us especially during the summer when basil and tomatoes are overflowing in the garden.  It's the kind of 30 minute, one-pot meal that deserves a gold star and a permanent spot in your dinner rotation. The farro, tomatoes, onions, and parmesan simmer down into a lovely, comforting risotto. [Side note: the recipe is perfect for us, but if your family doesn't do spice well cut back on the red pepper flakes.] 

I've now taken to adding farro to many of our meals. It's wonderful tossed with sausage and peppers or thrown into salads in place of rice like in tonight's dinner. But today farro is getting the royal pudding treatment mingled together with strawberries, milk, vanilla, and a touch of maple sweetness. This pudding is adapted from Eating Well's recipe for Wheat Berry Pudding that we happily devoured a couple weeks ago. A wonderful way to indulge while keeping you from walking down the dark steep chocolate candy path of doom. Bonus: this pudding serves multiple purposes. A healthy dessert, a warm comforting breakfast, or a 3pm pick-me-up!

Roasted Strawberry Farro Pudding
Serves 4-6
Adapted from Eating Well

1 c. uncooked farro
3 c. water
2 1/3 c. milk 
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of salt
1/4 c. maple syrup
2/3 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. roughly chopped strawberries
1 tbsp. sugar 

Note: the pudding is not overwhelmingly sweet - add a tbsp. or two more maple syrup if you'd like a sweeter dessert]

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
2. Rinse farro under cold water then combine with 3 c. water in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 25-30 minutes until farro still has a slight chew but is tender. Drain any remaining water from farro.
3. Return farro to pot then add milk, cinnamon stick, and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook on medium low for 25-30 minutes. Stir often to prevent sticking. 
4.  Remove from heat when mixture is thick and has rice pudding consistence. Stir in vanilla and maple syrup.
5. While farro/milk mixture is cooking, toss strawberries with sugar. Spread strawberries on prepared parchment-lined baking sheet and roast in oven for about 10 minutes. Toss strawberries once or twice while in the oven to ensure even roasting. Allow to cool slightly.
6. Fold roasted strawberries into farro pudding and serve warm with a dusting of cinnamon. [Or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar if you're into that sort of thing.]
If not serving right away, allow farro and strawberries to cool. Store in separate containers in fridge. When ready to serve, fold strawberries into individual pudding portions and warm in microwave. Eat pudding and strawberries within two days. If it lasts that long...
I now have this other problem...a spoon keeps finding its way into the fridge...into the pudding...then into my mouth...yum yum yum pudding!

Find other fabulous recipes at A Southern Fairytale.

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