Well... it's official, I'm turmeric obsessed. This fragrant golden spice is a nutritional powerhouse and has the most beautiful color. It has too many health benefits to count (and it's darn delicious too!), so I've really been having fun experimenting with new ways to use it. This dish is inspired by Golden Milk and has many of the same ingredients and flavors, albeit with a more savory spin.
This dish is so nicely balanced and it makes me happy! On the flavor front, there's a nice balance between delicate sweetness from pumpkin, lots of warming spices, and a very gentle heat from just a pinch of cayenne. I love this dish most when it has just barely detectable heat; in my opinion that keeps it more interesting than if it were overtly spicy. There's also a nice contrast between luscious flavors and fresh flavors, thanks especially to some fresh mint that you'll use to garnish the top of the dish.
The textures are well-balanced too! Farro is so delightfully hearty and chewy; it's just so satisfying. Drizzling the dish with some coconut cream adds a luxurious creamy texture, while garnishing with some cashews and sesame seeds adds crunch. A few sliced dates adds a chewiness that mimics the farro.
Overall, this Golden Farro is a symphony of different flavors and textures that all work so well together.
This is a versatile dish that I find myself coming back to again and again, mostly because it can be so many things. Because farro is so hearty (and has a lot of protein too!), it can easily serve as a main course. Feel free to top it with crispy roasted chick peas for even more protein. It's also a wonderful side, especially accompanying dishes with a Middle Eastern flavor profile. You'll see in the suggested pairings below that we love this one alongside a menu with other Middle Eastern ingredients like za'atar or other warming spices.
Want to know the best news? This recipe makes a big batch! As written, it will serve 2-3 as a main dish and twice that or more as a side. If you have a large enough skillet, you can double the recipe. It keeps great in the fridge for a few days, so don't hesitate to make enough so that you have leftovers; they're perfect for a busy week! If you reheat leftovers, add another dash of coconut milk to help bring everything back together and make the farro creamy again.
Let's Talk Ingredients
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
Farro. This versatile ancient grain has the most amazing texture! Look for it in the bulk foods section of an artisan grocery store or your local food co-op. You can also buy it online.
Full-fat coconut milk
Pumpkin puree. Or use butternut squash, kabocha squash, or sweet potato puree instead. Anything with a delicate sweetness and orange color will work great here.
Maple syrup. Just a dash helps to balance this dish, although you can leave it out if you're avoiding added sugars.
Freshly-grated ginger. I love the zing of freshly-grated ginger! If you don't have it on-hand though, 0.5-1 tsp of ginger root powder will work fine.
Cayenne. I like this dish best with a very subtle heat that just feels a bit warm rather than spicy. Adjust the heat as you see fit, but be aware that too much heat will overwhelm the more delicate turmeric.
Garnishes. You'll see I like to use coconut cream, roasted salted cashews, black sesame seeds, thinly-sliced dates, and fresh mint. Feel free to use some or all of those options, or choose your own.
Finally, I want to say a big thank you to my husband Dave for suggesting this recipe! One day last winter we were on a long (very long) hike on Kaua'i, discussing our love for turmeric and in particular for the Golden Milk from Kaua'i Juice Co. We were brainstorming recipes that could stem from Golden Milk. I came up with granola (which turned into my Golden Granola) and Dave suggested farro. So he deserves full credit for this golden beauty!
My love for this farro is enormous. It's my everything! Whether you enjoy it as a main course or a side dish, during winter or during summer, with just a tiny bit of heat or a lot, I'm confident you'll love this one as much as we do.
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
In a medium-sized pan, boil the farro for 10-12 minutes until tender but several minutes shy of being fully cooked. Drain the farro and set it aside.
Meanwhile, dice the sweet onion.
In a large skillet, saute the sweet onion in a dash of coconut oil over medium heat until tender and transparent (try to avoid browning the onion since it will adversely affect the color of your final dish). Cool the skillet to medium/low heat.
To the skillet with the onion, add the coconut milk, pumpkin, maple syrup, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cardamon, cayenne, and salt, then cook for about 5 minutes to meld the flavors.
Add the farro to the coconut milk broth and cook for another ~10 minutes or until the farro is tender and has absorbed most of the broth. Taste and adjust the heat level as you see fit.
Transfer the farro to a serving bowl. Garnish with a drizzle of coconut cream, cashews, sesame seeds, thinly-sliced dates, and fresh mint, then serve immediately.