This week on Good Food, author and picky eater, Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic discusses her years of eating grilled cheese and discovering new hiding places to dispose of the unappealing food she found on her childhood dinner plate. Her book is Suffering Succotash: A Picky Eater’s Quest to Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate. Her recipe for Farro and Greens can help satisfy your picky eater.
Keep reading for the full recipe…
Farro and Greens
The most ringing endorsement I have for this recipe is that I used it to convert twin sister picky eaters in a single day. While it’s true that Courtney was pretty brave when it came to trying foods, Keely— who got freaked out just talking to me about her greens and lettuce aversion— was the tougher nut to crack. And yet when she walked away from my table, she’d not just tolerated the greens I made, but had asked for seconds and had painstakingly transcribed the recipe. I also managed to get her to like certain lettuces by making her homemade vinaigrette using my very best olive oil.
This is my basic recipe. You can always certainly add your own twist to greens. If you think spicy sausage or tomato sauce would make the greens more palatable, throw ‘em in – the point of this recipe is to pair something you dislike (the greens) with something you like (the farro).
1 cup uncooked semi-pearled farro
1– 2 tablespoons olive oil (the best you have)
8 cups greens, washed and chopped or torn into the smallest pieces you think your mouth and gag reflex will tolerate (start with the mildest greens, beet greens, and work your way up to chard and other stronger, heartier greens)
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
1–2 cloves minced garlic
1⁄ 4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (more if you want)
2 shallot, finely minced
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1. Fill three-quarters of a stockpot with water and bring it to a boil. Add one or two large pinches of salt to the water and then add the farro. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
2. While the pasta is cooking, warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium- high heat, add the greens, and use tongs to stir the greens until they wilt. Add the salt, pepper, and pepper flakes and continue stirring for another 1– 2 minutes. Keep the greens on the heat longer if you want them to break down more.
3. Take the skillet off the heat and add the garlic. Stir until fully incorporated, allowing the residual heat of the greens to cook the garlic without burning it bitter.
4. Drain the farro and pour into a large bowl. Add minced shallots, vinegar, a splash of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and stir. Add the sautéed greens and cheese, and stir to combine and fully distribute the greens through out the farro. Taste the farro; if you don’t think there’s enough flavor, add more salt or cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature.