Farro and Lentils With Jammy Onions
Simmering chopped onions in a generous amount of olive oil is a two-for-one deal: The onions go soft and sweet while the oil gets infused with deep flavor. While the onions sizzle and simmer, the lentils and farro boil together until al dente, keeping the dish a speedy weeknight option. This makes a great warm side dish or a satisfying make-ahead grain salad. (Leftovers keep for up to three days.) Red-pepper flakes add heat, and lemon peel provides floral sweetness; you could also add whole spices, capers or other additions, if you like. Accessorize with hearty greens, soft herbs, eggs, smoked fish or leftover roasted vegetables.
- Serves: 4 persons
- ⅔cup olive oil
- 2large yellow onions, coarsely chopped
- ¼teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1cup brown or green lentils
- 1cup farro
Step 1Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Using a vegetable peeler, peel 1-inch-wide strips of zest from the lemon. In a large Dutch oven or skillet, heat the olive oil, onions, lemon peel and red-pepper flakes over medium. Season with salt and pepper, and cover. When you hear sizzling, uncover, reduce heat, and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and golden at the edges, 20 to 25 minutes. If at any point the onions risk burning, reduce heat and add 1 or 2 teaspoons of water. Remove from heat.
Step 2Once the water’s boiling, add the lentils and farro and simmer, uncovered, until al dente, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a colander, rinse under cold water until cool, shake very dry, and season with salt.
Step 3Pluck out the lemon peel from the onions and coarsely chop. Add the chopped peel, farro and lentils to the onions. Stir to combine, then add lemon juice, to taste, about 2 to 4 tablespoons. Season to taste with salt and pepper.