When I was a kid, winter meant a big bowl of steaming hot cereal for breakfast. I loved making little river of milk through my oats , cream of wheat or my dad’s favorite cream of rice and then using whole strawberries for little houses. It was my own yummy little world in a bowl!
I still love hot cereals, but today along with my oats, I’ve added a repertoire of ancient grains such as quinoa, amaranth, faro,emmer, black and red rice and spelt. These grains are so versatile, don’t be afraid to modify, mix and experiment!
Whatever grain you choose, always choose whole unprocessed grains. Never use the instant cereals that come in individual packs as they contain high amounts of sugar, sodium and artificial ingredients. This dish may sound like it has a lot of steps, but real food takes real time!
Since whole grains do take more time to cook, you can save time by making enough for a few days and storing it in the refrigerator. Reheating takes as little time as the instant muck, tastes so much better and is much better for you.
The recipe uses hearty chewy farro. Farro is a type of wheat and can be found in health food stores or specialty Italian markets. If you are gluten-free, you can easily substitute rice or old fashioned oats and still have an amazing dish.
FARRO & FIG SALAD
BY CHEF OKIMA WILCOX
FARRO WITH FRESH FIG & WALNUT SALAD
1 C. cooked farro
1 Tb. chia seeds
½ C. Almond milk or milk of your choice
1 pint of fresh figs, or 1 C. dry figs soaked overnight and drained
¼ C. walnut pieces
1 6oz. container of Greek yogurt or non- dairy yogurt
1 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. poppy seeds
For the Farro
Cover farro with cold water in a bowl and soak overnight, then drain in a colander. Bring farro, water (2 cups) to a boil in a 4-quart heavy pot, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until farro is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in colander.
For the Salad
In a small bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt, honey, poppy seeds and lemon juice. Pour over the figs and walnuts and toss.
On the stove, heat the farro, chia and milk stirring until the mix becomes warm and creamy. Place in a bowl and top with the fig and walnut salad. Enjoy!