I love making grain salads with raw apple and knew that the combination of a nutty grain and a cooked, tender apple would go just as well together in a warm dish. This Mediterranean-inspired pilaf calls for pearled farro, which retains all the delicious flavor and texture of traditional farro, but cooks in half the time. The olive oil and spices bring out the savory side of the apple, revealing an almost vegetal quality that makes this dish a satisfying and versatile side dish with only a hint of sweetness. -Andrea Albin
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup pearled farro
3 tablespoons pine nuts
½ small onion, finely chopped
1 cooking apple, such as Rome—cored, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
Large pinch ground allspice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped dill
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the faro and pine nuts and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. Add the onion and apple and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes longer.
Add 1½ cups of water, the red pepper flakes, cumin, coriander, allspice, ½ teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the liquid has been absorbed and the farro is tender but still toothsome, about 25 minutes.
Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the dill, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Read more about Apples, by Andrea Albin