TOMATO AND FARRO STEW
1 cup (250 ml) water
½ cup (125 ml) farro
1 pinch sea salt
1 eggplant, skin on, about 1 lb (500 g)
5 tbsp (75 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise, sliced
½-in (1 cm) thick
2 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, sliced
½-in (1 cm) thick
½ tsp (2 ml) sea salt
1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
2 tbsp (30 ml) tomato paste
28 oz (796 ml) can tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
2½ cups (625 ml) beef stock
½ cup (125 ml) seedless golden raisins
½ cup (125 ml) chopped dried apricots
⅓ cup (75 ml) oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
½ tsp (2 ml) crushed red pepper flakes
chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
HERBED LEMON CRÈME FRAÎCHE:
1 cup (250 ml) crème fraîche (substitute plain yogurt or sour cream)
2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped flat-leaf parsley
1½ tbsp (22 ml) finely chopped fresh chives
2 tsp (10 ml) chopped fresh tarragon
2 tsp (10 ml) finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- To make STEW: In a small saucepan bring water, farro and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, cook until tender, but slightly chewy, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain remaining liquid and set aside.
- Cut eggplant into 1-in (2.5 cm) pieces. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 3 tbsp (45 ml) oil. When hot, add eggplant, sauté until slightly soften. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add remaining oil. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onions are lightly golden. Mix in parsnips, carrots, eggplant, salt and cinnamon, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
- Add can tomatoes with juice, scraping up bits from bottom of saucepan. Add stock, raisins, apricots, sun dried tomatoes and pepper flakes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cook covered until carrots are fork tender, 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- In a bowl, stir together all HERBED LEMON CRÈME FRAÎCHE ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate.
- Stir cooked farrow into stew during final minute of cooking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve in heated serving bowls and garnish with Herbed Lemon Creme Fraiche and chopped parsley.