Farro Bowl with Chermoula, Fennel & Mint

The easiest way to have breakfast, lunch or dinner ready in 5 minutes is to arm your kitchen with cooked grains, a few condiments and some kind of legume or protein. Chef John Pitblado developed this and two other grain bowl recipes for the L.A. Times Food Bowl Festival– thank you, John!

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To cook the grains, take a look at our Grain Cooking Chart here to know how much water and time you need for each kind of grain. We love purchasing grains from our local Southern California farmers at the Santa Monica, Hollywood, Mar Vista and Torrance farmers’ markets, but you can find wheat berries at any specialty or gourmet grocery store.

The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market (Wednesday mornings) offers up the most variety of grain farmers, from Larry Kandarian to Roan MillsFat Uncle Farms to Koda Farms and Weiser Family Farms.

Ingredients

Farro Bowl with Chermoula, Fennel & Mint

2 cups Cooked Farro
1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 cup Toasted walnuts
2 Tbsps Olive oil
1 Lemon (for juicing)
2 tsps Salt (less if salt is fine)
As desired Chermoula (see below)
As desired Quick Pickled Fennel (see below)
1 cup Ricotta
1 bunch Chopped fresh mint

Directions

  1. Toss cooked and cooled farro with raisins and walnuts. Toss in oil, lemon juice and salt and season to taste.
  2. Place in serving bowls and top with Chermoula, Ricotta, Pickled Fennel and Mint.
  3. Serves 4 as a side and two as a main dish.

Chermoula Sauce

1 bunch Cilantro
1 bunch Flat-leafed parsley
4 Garlic cloves
2 Tbsps Smoked paprika
1 Tbsp Ground cumin
2 tsps Freshly grated ginger
1/2 tsp Chili flakes
1/2 tsp Coriander seeds
3 Tbsps Olive oil
1 Lemon, juiced
1 tsp Kosher salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mini-food processor or mortar and pestle. Process until a thick, moderately rough sauce is formed. Keep refrigerated (bonus: you'll have more than what you need for this recipe).

Quick Pickled Fennel

2-3 Heads of fennel
2 sprigs Fresh thyme
1 tsp Whole spice of your choice (peppercorn, coriander or mustard seed)
1 tsp Fennel seed
2 cloves Garlic, smashed
1 cup White, apple or rice vinegar
1 cup Water
1 Tbsp Kosher salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
  1. Wash and slice the fennel into half moons (first, cut the bottom of the bulb off, then split the heart in half. Place face side down and cut thin half moons).
  2. Wash 2 wide-mouth pint jars with lids. Add thyme, spices and garlic into the jars. Pack the fennel into the jars, making sure there is a 1/2 inch of space from the rim of the jar to the top. Combine the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve. Pour the brine over the vegetables, filling each jar to within 1/2 inch of the top.
  3. Let the jars cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator.