Farro with Preserved Lemon & Pomegranate

January 15, 2014

 

 

Crumbled feta, mint, toasted hazelnuts, pomegranate seeds, farro (mixed with molasses, olive oil, fresh mint & parsley, crushed black cardamom pods & preserved lemon)

Recipe

Ingredients*:
1 ball of pizza dough (per pizza)
olive oil
salt & pepper
flour for dusting

semolina flour for pizza stone
2 ½ cups farro
1 preserved lemon, seeded & diced (this can be tricky to find—we got ours at Di Bruno Bros, but worst case you can look up recipes for making it yourself, which isn’t very difficult)
½ cup hazelnuts, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped, plus whole leaves to garnish
3 cups molasses
1 pomegranate
¼-½ cup crumbled feta
4-5 whole black cardamom pods, ground with mortar & pestle, hard shell pieces removed (you can find these at your local spice store, we found ours at Penzeys Spices)

 

*This week, we made two of each pizza, so you can either divide the ingredients in half, or plan for leftovers!

 

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 550° F, or as hot as it will go. Then begin to prepare your farro. Add the grain to a large saucepan with about 6 cups of salted water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer, cooking for about 20-30 minutes, until tender. You’ll want most of the water to evaporate, so if the farro feels tender before that happens, you can drain the excess water.

 

Meanwhile, toast your hazelnuts in a pan over medium heat, until they become fragrant and slightly toasted. Be careful not to burn them.

 

Next, seed your pomegranate. A couple days before we decided to make this pizza, I was reading Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Plenty, and he introduced me to a secret for seeding pomegranates that I had never heard before—and now I’m a little embarrassed that I never realized how simple it was.

 

In case this is not a well-known technique that I somehow missed out on, I’ll pass it along. Cut the pomegranate in half and hold one half loosely in your palm, cut side down. Place a bowl under your hand and just start whacking the back of the fruit with a wooden spoon, and the seeds will fall through your fingers into the bowl. Pick out any loose skin that’s fallen into the bowl, and repeat with the other half. It is so easy.

 

Anyway, once you’ve seeded your pomegranate, you can add that, the lemons, molasses, parsley, mint, cardamom, and ¼ cup of olive oil to the farro, stirring to combine. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Now you can begin to prepare your dough, if you haven’t already, using the instructions on the right. Once you’ve baked it for a minute, take it out and brush it lightly with olive oil.

 

Next, add about half of the feta, followed by the farro mixture. Spoon it out evenly so it sits in a thin layer across the pizza. Then sprinkle it with your remaining feta and pop it in the oven.

 

Bake until the feta begins to get a little toasty on top and the crust is a nice golden brown. Then take it out, arrange your fresh mint leaves on top, and serve!

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HOW TO PREPARE DOUGH

#1 

Start stretching it from the center, then move it around in a circle so that gravity stretches it and creates a natural crust. It helps to put some olive oil on your hands first.

 

#2

Place the dough on your floured surface & push it out with your fingertips until it's the size of your pizza stone. You can fold over the edges to create an extra fluffy crust.

 

#3

When the oven is hot (preheat it with the stone inside), sprinkle some semolina flour on the pizza stone and place your dough on it.

#4

Bake it for about a minute, or until it starts to bubble, then take it out. This last step isn't 100% necessary, but I feel like it adds a little extra crispiness to the crust.

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