Home on the Range
October 6, 2013
Noah jumped off a mountain. Not jumped, he corrected me. Ran. Noah ran off a mountain. Ran down a slope, ran in the air — cartoon-style — ran as the wing clipped to his back puffed and swept him into the sky.
Not that I saw. I stood 10,000 feet below, hand to brow, brow creased, searching for a speck, my speck, my speck of a son, paragliding the blue.
A thin red crescent sharpened into focus. I squinted: He soared. He circled. He swooped. He came closer, larger, grew legs, ran those legs in the air, across the ground, to a stop.
Wing deflated at his feet, Noah looked up, wistful.
Over bowls of farro he told me about his time in the sky. The weightless quiet. The lift and drift.
Farro, cousin to wheat, tastes thoroughly, deliciously earth-bound. We sat silent, spooning up the ancient grain, newly popular. It seemed as old as the sky, as fresh as learning to fly.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Serves: 2 to 4
1 cup whole farro
2 ¼ cups cold water
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
6 ounces (2 to 3) baby bok choy, stems sliced, leaves whole
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Chimichurri (recipe follows)
Cover farro with cold water, stir once and let soak, 25 minutes. Drain and rinse.
Scoop farro into a saucepan. Add 2 cups cold water and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cover. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook until water has been absorbed and farro is tender (like rice), about 30 minutes.
In a large skillet heat both types of oil and a pinch of salt over medium. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring now and then, until deep brown, about 10 minutes. Scoop out and set aside.
Add bok choy and a pinch of salt to the pan (it's OK if pan is dry). Cook, stirring, until stems begin to brown and leaves wilt, about 1 minute. Pour in remaining ¼ cup water. Cover and steam tender, about 2 minutes. It's OK if some water remains in pan.
Stir in farro, mushrooms and 2 tablespoons chimichurri until hot and glossy. Serve hot with additional chimichurri.
Inspired by Peaches Corner Cafe, Aspen, Colo.
Measure ½ teaspoon kosher salt into the food processor. With the machine running, drop 1 clove garlic (degermed) down the chute. Stop and add ¾ cup (loosely packed) cilantro leaves and tender stems, ½ cup (loosely packed) parsley leaves and stems, ½ cup (loosely packed) spinach leaves and 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves. Pulse to bits. Scrape into a bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Leah Eskin is a Tribune Newspapers special contributor. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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