From snagging gourmet Mexican on a busy NYC block to an adventure into who knows where for Chipotle. From rest stop Starbucks to hipster street corner cappuccino.. I have enjoyed all aspects of the foodie world during my week away. Well, everything but a dinner from Chef Mama. Therefore I left a visit to her house as my last stop on my way back to Philadelphia.
Tonight she treated me to a creative but healthy meal. Ever since I saw a recipe for farro pilaf in Clean Eating Magazine, I have been curious about creating a dish with this newly popular grain. Much to my thorough attempts to find a box of it, Whole Foods always came out to be my only option. Unfortunately in asking me to shell out $11 for a small package of these uncooked little pearls, all I could do was respectfully decline and continue my search. Leave it to my mom to find it in no time at her local grocery store… I was pretty sure I was born with her expert food shopping gene, but lately I have started questioning it!
The farro cooked easily, just as rice does, taking only 20 minutes to absorb the water in the saucepan. It transforms into this crunchy comforting texture, simulating al dente pasta and risotto at the same time.
Mom threw together a quick homemade pesto which she spooned into the farro, allowing for the potent basil, salty cheese and nutty aromas to have their way with the dish. Add to the plate oven baked cornmeal and almond crusted tilapia, and a fresh salad with avocado and pear, and the meal was complete. Each flavor stood alone but shined even brighter as they came together… Making that happen is what Mama does best!