Updated: Jan 13
Farro / Sub Mild Cheddar
Bacon / Sub Mild Cheddar
Gallatin Valley Botanical - Bozeman
Amaltheia Organic Produce - Belgrade
Mother Fungi - Missoula
Amaltheia Organic Produce - Belgrade
Timeless Natural Foods - Ulm / Lifeline Organic Dairy - Victor
Ranchland Packing Co. - Butte / Lifeline Organic Dairy - Victor
Somewhat Traditional Borscht (Beet Soup), Vegetarian or Not
6-8 C beef, chicken, or vegetable broth
2 Tbs vegetable oil, or other neutral oil (see notes)
1 large or 2 small onions, diced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 head of green cabbage, shredded
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste,
2-3 medium red beets, peeled and sliced or grated
1-2 Tbs red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar, more or less to taste
2-3 Tbs fresh dill, chopped
Sour cream, for serving
Notes: Substitute or add vegetables like mushrooms, parsnips, or potato. Use more or less broth depending on how many servings you want, or if you like a thicker consistency. If you like, fry some bacon, set it aside and use the bacon grease instead of oil, then top the soup with crumbled bacon.
Prep all the vegetables first. Heat a large pot over medium heat, then add the oil followed by the onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until they're tender and turning golden, ~5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and marjoram, then add the celery, carrot, cabbage, and any other veggies you want to use (except beets). Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly tender, ~8 minutes.
Add the broth and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Cook partially covered for 10 minutes, then add the beets. Continue simmering the soup until the vegetables are completely tender, ~15 minutes. Add vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste – how much salt you need can vary widely depending on how salty your broth is, what veggies you ended up using, if you added any meat, and how hot the soup is when you taste it. Garnish generously with sour cream, fresh dill, and bacon if using.
Skillet Beet & Farro Salad
Adapted from NYTimes Cooking, serves 4-6.
2 medium-sized red beets, rinsed and scrubbed
1 C farro (see note about GF substitutions)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 C lightly toasted nuts like pistachios, almonds, pecans, walnuts, or pine nuts
2 Tbs sherry vinegar -sub another wine vinegar, and/or sub part with white or dark balsamic vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp dried marjoram, chopped
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil, or your preferred oil for salad dressing
2 Tbs walnut oil (not necessary, but adds a nice flavor. can omit entirely)
Crumbled feta or goat cheese (optional)
Handful chopped, tender herbs like parsley or microgreens (optional)
Notes: The beets and farro need to be prepared separately, but can be done simultaneously. They can also be cooked ahead of time. Sauteed or roasted mushrooms could be added to this dish, or chopped cabbage, or crumbled bacon. Any roasted vegetable could be used with or instead of the beets. Any grain could be used instead of farro for a GF version, like brown or wild rice. Try cooking the rice like pasta -with lots of water- to help the grains stay separated.
Roast the beets at ~425º. Use whatever method you prefer (whole or cut, covered or not...) they're done when tender enough to be pierced with a fork. Meanwhile, cook the farro in a medium saucepan with 4 C water. Bring to a boil, add a bit of salt, cover and reduce heat to simmer for ~45 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to sit for another 15 minutes. Reserve 2-3 Tbs of the cooking water and drain the rest.
While the farro and beets are cooking, make the vinaigrette. Whisk together vinegar, salt, garlic, marjoram, and mustard, then whisk in the oil/s. Set aside. When the beets are cool enough to handle, dice them into ~1/2" pieces. I don't usually bother to peel them if they've been scrubbed, but you can peel before dicing if you prefer: just slip the skins off under running water.
Pour the vinaigrette into a wide frying pan or saucepan, then add the drained farro and 2 Tbs of the reserved cooking water. Add the diced beets along with toasted nuts and any chopped fresh herbs you might be using. Stir everything over medium heat until heated through. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve with a sprinkle of cheese, bacon, or whatever you like. Can be a side or a meal.
Additional Recipes & Suggestions
Here's a Borscht recipe using a beef shank (or stew beef) and roasting the roots.
I'm kind of obsessed with the idea of this marjoram sauce. I think it will be delicious on roasted veggies, meat or fish, or even mixed in with a cooked grain. It calls for fresh herb, but what we have this week was harvested and dried this fall, so is still very fresh and flavorful. Substitute 1 tsp dried leaves for every 1 Tbs fresh. When in doubt, start with less than called for and add to your liking.
For a gluten-free version, try this mushroom leek risotto (use onion or shallot if you don't have leek - not the same, but still good!)
Then you can make Sauerkraut with Bacon & Apples.
This bag leans easily to Eastern European cuisine, why not try your hand at Stuffed Cabbage Rolls? Or a less traditional Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. You could easily substitute cooked farro for rice in either recipe.
A favorite when I don't know what else to make, this grain salad is endlessly adaptable and I share it frequently. Similar to the one above, but no skillet required. I love it with a poached egg and a large hunk of toasted sourdough.