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Author Notes: I'm always on the hunt for dishes that can be served as a vegetarian main dish for me or a side dish for my meat-loving husband. This was one of my recent hits at home. It's a riff on a salad recipe from Bon Appetit. I added the farro, blue cheese and herbs and melting the cheese into the farro. I chose to grill the plums as well as the kale since I was going for a early fall comfort dish at the end of plum season. —TheWimpyVegetarian
Ricotta Farro Pilaf
- 1 cup farro grain
- 2 cups water (or vegetable broth)
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese, drained
- 1 1/2 tablespoon blue cheese (I use Point Reyes Blue)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- pinch kosher salt
- 3 medium plums, pitted and halved, and sliced into 8 slices per plum
- 10 – 12 curly kale leaves (medium sized leaves)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried pequin pepper flakes (a mild red pepper)
- few grinds of freshly ground pepper
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the garlic, salt, and dried farro. Simmer for 30 minutes or until chewy-tender. If there is any liquid left, strain it out but reserve it for thinning the pilaf if needed.
- Whisk the ricotta and blue cheese together in a small bowl. Stir in the thyme and salt. Set aside.
- Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together in a small bowl except the olive oil. Once the salt is dissolved, continue whisking while drizzling the olive oil into the vinegar base. Correct for seasoning.
- Drizzle 1 1/2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the whole kale leaves. Lightly rub to ensure complete coverage.
- Heat up a dry grill pan or skillet over high heat on the stove. Add the leaves in one layer – it’s okay if they’re touching. “Grill” them for one minute and flip. The edges should be crispy and a little charred. “Grill” for an additional 30 seconds to a minute. Remove and allow to cool. Repeat until all the kale is grilled. (You can use your outside grill too, using a heated vegetable pan.)
- When the kale has cooled enough for handling, remove the center stem and tear the leaves into large pieces.
- Drizzle two teaspoons of the vinaigrette on the plums and toss. Add them all at once to the hot dry grill or sauté pan. Cook for 30 seconds or until just beginning to soften.
- Serve warm.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Most Impressive Dinner Party Side