vegan, occasionally: farro with pan seared tofu and peas

by Chen

Not in the mood for meat? It happens to me sometimes, especially when heat attacks LA.

This is my first time to cook farro, an ancient grain that is currently popular among the health-conscious foodies. It is so earthy and somewhat resembles steel cut oats while more plump when cooked.

What I like about this dish is that besides a vegan main, it is also a side for braised meat (yes, when that mood calls again) since it soaks up the juice and flavor so well. One last tip: soaking the farro in water overnight makes it easier to cook even though not all packages say so.

farro with pan seared tofu and peas
Makes 2 as a main or 4 as a side

1/2 cup farro, soaked overnight
8 oz (half of a block) firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2*1/2*1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup peas
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Add farro and at least 3 cups water and a pinch of salt to a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat to low. Cover and let it simmer until the farro is tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Add tofu to the pan and lightly sprinkle some salt on the top. When the bottom sides are golden brown, flip and cook the other side, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.

Return the pan to the heat and add peas to it. Saute until they are tender and translucent. Add the drained farro and tofu to the pan and give the mixture a good toss. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature. Leftover can be chilled and warmed up in microwave.