I borrowed the idea from some traditional Italian farro recipes I've been scoping out. Not having a lot of the ingredients called for some of these farro soups, and wanting to add a bit of smokiness to the dish, I veered away from the Italian, tomato-based ideas with success. Cumin and a tiny bit of chili powder added the depth I was looking for and went very well with the nuttiness of the farro and the sweetness of the caramelized onions. Flavors aside, this is also a great protein and fiber-packed dish that makes a hearty one-dish meal.
Farro & Red Beans with Caramelized Onions
4 oz. Umbrian farro (or spelt)
1 can of red kidney beans, drained (not rinsed)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
Couple splashes of olive oil
1 t garlic
1 heaping T cumin
1 t chili powder
Salt & pepper to taste
Couple sprigs of cilantro for garnish (optional)
Cook the farro per package instructions; or if you've bought in bulk, simply add the raw farro to a large pot of boiling, salted water for about 15 minutes. Drain the farro and set aside.
In a large skillet or frying pan, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the diced onion and a couple of pinches of salt and cook slowly until the onions become translucent and browned (about 15 minutes), making sure to stir frequently so that they don't stick to the pan. Add the garlic, drained kidney beans along with the cumin and chili powder and stir to combine all the flavors. Reduce the heat to medium. At this point your mixture will become a bit soupy or stew-like, which is the goal. Add the cooked farro to the beans & onions and mix together. Heat for about 3 more minutes, or until the farro has absorbed most of the liquid. Serve with a couple sprigs chopped cilantro, and some shredded cheese if desired (I had some pepper jack lying around and it actually went quite well). Enjoy!