Pan Crisped Farro with Poached Egg and Spring onions

April 27, 2012
3 Ratings
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

We recently went out for a fabulous vegetarian meal at Beast, a Portland restaurant most commonly known for it's meat. They serve a monthly vegetarian supper, and it was kismet that for April it fell on my vegetarian sister's birthday. One of the courses was "Pan Crisped Farro with Poached Egg, Grilled Spring Onions, Carrots, and Maitakes." It was fantastic, and the crispy farro was a delight. This dish is my much less complicated version.
I preferred a mix of crisp, nutty farro with more traditionally cooked farro. I also wanted to minimize prep and pans used, so ended up just using sautéed spring onions, with some fresh herbs and lemon for brightness. A dusting of grated cheese and a poached egg on top turns the dish into a satisfying meal. —hardlikearmour

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup farro
  • 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 10 ounces spring onions (or scallions if it's not spring)
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 12 large mint leaves, chiffonade
  • small to medium lemon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • freshly grated black pepper
  • Parmesan or Pecorino
  1. Cover farro with water by at least an inch, and allow to soak for 30 to 40 minutes.
  2. Bring chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, once it's boiling reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Clean the onions, and remove any less than fresh leaves. Cut the onions at the junction where the leaves start. Add the greens to the stock. Set the rest of the onions aside. Allow stock to simmer while the farro is soaking, then remove the greens. Taste for salt, and adjust so it's fairly salty, essentially like pasta water.
  3. Drain the farro, and add to the stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer until the farro is tender, but still slightly chewy, about 20 minutes (depending on your farro.) Drain the farro well, and transfer to a sheet pan lined with a clean tea towel to dry.
  4. While the farro is cooking, zest and juice your lemon. Set aside. Chiffonade your mint and chop your parsley. Set aside. If your spring onions are fat, cut them in half lengthwise then into thin (1/8-inch or so) slices. If they're thin, bias cut them into thin slices. Set aside.
  5. Get ready to poach your eggs, if you already have a tried and true method, go ahead and use it otherwise give this a whirl: Place a rack or folded towel in the bottom of a large saucepan or stock pot. Place 2 6-oz ramekins on the rack and fill the pot with water so it spills into and just fills the ramekins. Remove the ramekins draining the water back into the pot. Crack an egg into each ramekin (if your eggs are less than fresh, strain them through a slotted spoon to remove the wispy whites first.) Bring the water to a boil, then add 2 to 3 teaspoons of salt. Remove the pot from the heat, then carefully lower each ramekin into the water using a jar lifter or wearing heatproof and waterproof gloves. Eggs will be done in approximately 6 minutes, start checking them after 5. Use slotted spoon to carefully fish the cooked eggs out.
  6. Heat butter and olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Once the butter quits sputtering add 1/5 to 1/4 of the farro. Shake or stir to get the farro coated with the oil. Cook the farro, stirring occasionally, until it starts to get nutty smelling and crispy, about 5 minutes. Be cautious, it will start to pop like popcorn. Put a lid on it and continue to cook another minute or 2, shaking frequently and peeking every 30 seconds or so, until it is nicely golden brown and crispy/crunchy.
  7. Remove the cover and add the sliced onions. (Now is the time to remove your boiling water from the heat and get the eggs into it.) Cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the remaining farro, and season with salt and black pepper. Cook stirring frequently to continuously, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the farro is heated through. Remove from heat and add the parsley, mint, lemon zest, and 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir well to combine. Taste for seasoning, and add salt, pepper, or more lemon juice if desired. Divide between 2 dishes and grate Parmesan or Pecorino over each portion. Top with a poached egg and some black pepper. Serve immediately.
  8. Note: if you're concerned about the timing of the poached eggs you can make them ahead of time, and store them in cold water in the fridge. Heat them with hot (not boiling) water for a minute or so before serving. You could also fry an egg instead if you're more comfortable with it!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Midge
  • em-i-lis
  • deanna1001
  • gingerroot
  • meganvt01
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.

25 Reviews

Alex April 2, 2016
this was absolutely delicious! i didn't follow the steps exactly, but it turned out great. fantastic blend of flavors. can't wait to make it again!
Lana G. August 23, 2014
Chicken stock in a vegetarian dish?
hardlikearmour August 23, 2014
I didn't tag the recipe as vegetarian because I used chicken stock, which I personally prefer to vegetable stock. Seems like it would be pretty simple to substitute your favorite mushroom or veggie stock if you are vegetarian.
Harlan191 May 3, 2012
this looks incredible—can't wait to try it when i'm out of school next week
hardlikearmour May 3, 2012
Thanks you, Harlan! I hope you enjoy it.
Midge April 30, 2012
Sounds and looks fantastic, hla. I look forward to trying it soon.
hardlikearmour April 30, 2012
Thanks, Midge!
em-i-lis April 28, 2012
hla, you are a hell of a photog (and cook)! beautiful pic!
hardlikearmour April 29, 2012
Thank you, em!
deanna1001 April 27, 2012
Oh wow! Sunday breakfast for sure! Thanks for an inspiring recipe!
hardlikearmour April 28, 2012
Thank you, deanna! It would make a great, hearty, breakfast.
gingerroot April 27, 2012
This is gorgeous, hla. I can't wait to try this.
hardlikearmour April 27, 2012
Thank you, gr! I was pretty happy with how that poached egg turned out in the photo!
meganvt01 April 27, 2012
Beautiful. I am so excited to try the farro AND the egg poaching technique. Thanks!
hardlikearmour April 27, 2012
Thanks, megan! Let me know how it works for you.
EmilyC April 27, 2012
Oh yum...this is right up my alley. I've never crisped farro before so I'm intrigued! Saved!
hardlikearmour April 27, 2012
Thank you, Emily! Do you have a new little one in your life?? The crisped farro is yummy - it's crunchy and very toasty/nutty in flavor. Too much of it gets a bit hard to chew, hence combining it with the softer farro. I bet it would make a great sprinkled on topping in place of nuts, too....
EmilyC April 28, 2012
Hope to try this sometime soon...and yes, I do have a new little one...a 1 month old baby girl!
hardlikearmour April 29, 2012
Yay! Congratulations on your newest addition!
drbabs April 27, 2012
Oh, I love this. will definitely make it.
hardlikearmour April 27, 2012
Thanks, drbabs! I hope you get a chance to make it!
LeBec F. April 28, 2012
hla, you continue to be one heck of an impressive chef! (and WHAT a beauty photo!)
LeBec F. April 28, 2012
p.s. I would be VERY surprised ( and I am serious here) if that photo did not end up on the cover of the next 52 cookbook.
LeBec F. April 28, 2012
p.p.s. it's just not fair. Like with Catherine Zeta Jones. She can dance, she can act, she can SING...AND she's beautiful. No Fair!!
hardlikearmour April 29, 2012
Thank you for all of your kind words, LBF!