Faro is the ancient grain of the Mediterranean and the mainstay of the Roman Empire diet. Recently it has made a comeback as the new alternative to rice with health conscious cooks and trendy chefs. Mike Chelini’s recipe incorporates onions, fennel, mushrooms and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, which give the faro a lively texture and piquant flavors. We serve this dish with Mike’s Farm House Pork Cutlets.
Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan and keep warm over medium heat.
Heat the olive oil in a separate large saucepan. Add the onion, fennel and mushrooms and cook over medium low heat, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the faro and stir to cover with the olive oil for about 2 minutes. Begin adding the chicken stock, one ladle at a time, until the faro is tender, about 20 minutes. You may not need to use all the stock. Stir in the cheese and serve immediately.
Mike likes to cook broccolini rather than broccoli because he finds it a bit sweeter with a mellow flavor, allowing it to blend well with other dishes.
Trim the toughest parts of the stems. Steam the broccolini about 5 minutes until it turns bright green and is tender-crunchy. Dress lightly with the olive oil and salt and pepper and serve with the pork cutlets and risotto-style faro.