Farro Vegetable Casserole

Farro, Cheese, zucchini, cannellini beans

You may have noticed by now that I like Farro. I am always trying to come up with new ways to serve it. My family likes casserole dishes because they are all-in-one meals, and easy to eat.  So I decided to create a casserole using Farro as the star.

This farro vegetable casserole is packed with flavor. It has everything that you could want.  The nutty flavor of the farro, combined with the vegetables, cannellini beans, and melted mozzarella cheese will delight your taste buds. It is truly a comfort food without all the guilt.

Ingredients:
1  1/2 – cups farro
1 – red bell pepper
10 -oz. white mushrooms
3 – cups diced zucchini
1 – can cannellini beans
1 – medium onion
2 – cloves garlic
3/4 – tsp. salt
1/2 – tsp. Herbs de Provence
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/3 tsp red pepper flake
1/2 – tsp. black pepper
1/2 – cup pecorino romano
2 – cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 – cup chicken broth

Directions:
Cook the farro according to package directions, but do not over cook (be sure to add salt to the water). When the farro is ready, drain and place it in a medium sized baking dish, and add a little olive oil and the chicken broth so it does not stick together.

While the farro is cooking, dice the red bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini and onion, and peel the garlic. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet, add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook on a medium-low flame about 2 minutes until the garlic starts to brown. Now add the diced vegetables and season with the salt, black pepper, oregano, Herbs de Provence and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.

When the vegetables are ready it is time to assemble the casserole. Add to the farro in the baking dish the pecorino romano cheese and 3/4 cup of grated mozzarella cheese, and mix well. Next, add the cannellini beans (drain first) and sautéd vegetables. Stir to distribute the vegetables evenly.

Top off the casserole with the remaining grated mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 375° for 30 minutes, until the cheese starts to become golden brown.

Serves 6

Buon appetito!




Stuffed Zucchine with Riced Cauliflower, Spinach and Sausage

 

Zucchine and cauliflower are two wonderful summer vegetables.  What better way to enjoy both than to stuff one into the other.  This recipe is easy, nutricious, and delicious.

Riced cauliflower makes the perfect base for the stuffing because it easily absorbs the flavors from the ingredients you add to it.

While this recipe is heavy on vegetables, it is also enhanced with flavorful Italian sausage.  You can easily make this a vegetarian dish by substituting the sausage with beans for added protein, and use vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock.

Ingredients:
2 – medium zucchini (approx. 8″ long)
1 – small head cauliflower
1 – cup chicken broth
8 – oz baby spinach
3 – cloves garlic
1 – tsp. Adobo Seasoning
1 – tsp. oregano
1/4 – tsp. salt
1/2 – cup pecorino romano cheese
3 – italian sausage links
Olive oil
Ground black pepper

Directions:
Rinse the zucchini and pat dry.  Cut off the ends and slice it down the middle lengthwise. With a spoon, scrape out the seeds in the center to make a pocket to hold the stuffing.

Place the zucchini halves in a baking dish and drizzle with a little olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt, ground black pepper, and oregano.  Place in a pre-heated 375° oven to pre-cook for 15 minutes while preparing the stuffing. Remove from oven until stuffing is ready.

While the zucchine pre-cooks, remove the leaves from the cauliflower, rinse and cut into small pieces. To turn the cauliflower into rice sized pieces you can either grate it on a box grater or use a food processor with the grating blade.

Once the cauliflower is riced, add it to a pot with one cup of chicken stock, the Adobo, salt, and oregano. Bring to a boil and cook on a medium-low heat for about 10 minutes until tender. Turn off heat and set aside.

While the cauliflower is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet and sautè the garlic cloves until they start to brown.  Add the spinach and stir to coat all the leaves with the oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and cook until tender, about 2 minutes.

When the spinach is ready, remove it from the skillet and set aside.

Remove the sausage from its casing and add a little olive oil to the same skillet.  Crumble the sausauge and cook until no longer pink.

Now combine the cauliflower, spinach, sausage, and pecorino cheese and mix well.

Stuff the zucchini with the cauliflower mixture. Sprinkle the top with some more pecorino cheese.

Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the zucchini is fork tender and the top is lightly browned.

You can serve it with a side of marinara sauce, but it is not necessary.

Serve immediately.