Chef Brandon Martin of Nouveau American restaurant, Tillie’s is here to grace us this week with flavor, technique, and our favorite winter vegetables, sautéed and seasoned to perfection. Chef Brandon has dabbled in farm-to-table kitchens like Foreign & Domestic, Old Thousand, and Odd Duck to name a few, so you know he won’t disappoint. This dish is yet another masterful creation we’re itching to dig into because there’s pretty plating and delicious content. We loved his Chicken Mole & Farro dish so much, that we decided to share the recipe for the bed of the dish, made from one of our favorite nourishing, and nutritious ancient grains, Farro! This week, our #KnowYourChef series is spotlighting Chef Brandon Martin and his special recipe, because we wanted to peek inside of his world, and let y’all in, too!
Farro with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Turnips
1 c farro rinsed under cold water
¼ c small diced yellow onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 sprig thyme
1 tbsp butter plus another 1.5 tbsp butter
3 c water
½ c chicken stock or water
½ c sweet potatoes cut into ½ inch squares
½ c white turnips cut into ½ inch squares
¼ c canola oil or as needed
chipotle powder as needed
sherry vinegar as needed
lime juice as needed
❶ In a medium sized pot, put the onion and 1 tbsp of butter inside to begin cooking.
❷ Cook on low for 4-5 minutes without getting color until the onion is translucent. If you have a lid for the pot, use it to sweat the onion. It will help add a little moisture and cook the onion nicely.
❸ Add the garlic and thyme then cook for another minute or two until the garlic has lost its raw aroma.
❹ Put the rinsed farro into the pot and toast for about 1 minute. Cover with 3 cups of water and cook uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the farro is tender but not overcooked.
❺ While the farro is cooking, heat a sauté pan on medium high heat.
❻ Toss the sweet potato and turnips in the sauté pan separately with a small amount of chipotle powder and a little salt to taste.
❼ Once heated, add sweet potato to the pan. Gently toss a couple of times to coat and even them out so they cook evenly. Turn the heat down and pan roast on one side until nice and browned. Give it one last toss and let it cook on the other side. When the sweet potatoes have just a little bite to them still, drain on paper towels and reserve. Cook the turnips in the same manner as the above.
❽ When the farro is tender, strain and put it back into the pot. Discard the liquid and thyme. Put it back on low heat and add the sweet potatoes, turnips and some of the chicken stock or water to get it moist.
❾ Add the additional 1.5 tbsp butter and season with a few drops of lime juice, sherry vinegar and salt to taste.
❿ If it needs a little more acidity, add more of the vinegar or lime juice to your liking. Chopped parsley and cilantro can be added as embellishments if you so choose. Enjoy!