Breton Buckwheat Dumplings, a regional French specialty.


Kig Ha Farz is a homely, but absolutely delicious, Breton specialty that even few French people know about. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever find it served in a restaurant, even in Brittany, which I learned on a recent trip to the region. I told friends that we were staying with that I wanted to prepare it for them, and we spent a few days trying to find a farz sack to make it in. While shopping at the outdoor markets, we asked vendors that sold housewares if they carried them, but not one of them had any idea what Kig ha farz was, let alone carry a sack for making it.

One was even suspicious that we were from one of those “gotcha” tv shows, called enquêtes, in France, where they do undercover investigations. I saw one where they brought a hidden camera to an outdoor market where vendors were selling eggs from battery chicken farms marked as “cage-free.” (All eggs in France are stamped 0-to-3, which’ll tell you how the chickens were raised.) The eggs were sitting in pretty baskets on beds of hay, but when the journalist busted them for selling battery-farmed chicken eggs as cage-free, the vendor started throwing the eggs at them. (And even other customers started yelling at them, which I didn’t quite get, because they were being sold incorrectly marketed eggs.)

We weren’t there to bust anyone, or to have eggs tossed at us. I just wanted to make kig ha farz.

The first time I had kig ha farz was back in 2007, a few years after I started the blog. Romain had told me about it, but couldn’t really describe it. Or if he did, I wasn’t really getting what it was. It wasn’t until a trip to Brittany where we rented a house that I got my first taste of it. The couple we were renting our guest house from asked us what we wanted as a welcome dinner, and we said “Kig ha farz.” They were surprised, and they told us we were the first people to ever ask for it. But later that evening, her husband came out bearing our dinner.


It’s been nearly a decade since I wrote about it, and after my recent trip, I decided to update the post. (And in case you go to Brittany and are looking to have it, you’ll have better chances of finding it if you are visiting the Finistère part of the region.)

It’s said the tradition of simmering a dumpling-like mixture in simmering meat broth was done using the sleeve of an old men’s shirt. So if you have one lying around that you don’t mind ripping the sleeve off of, you might want to give it a try. Or you can use a big square of natural fabric that’s not too porous. As for me, I’m never letting my precious farz bag out of my sight again.

Kig ha farz is probably one of the most unusual things that’ll ever come out of your kitchen and it’s not winning any beauty contests, which is why I first wrote about it before the age of Pinterest and Instagram. But as long-time readers know, there are a number of recipes on this site that probably won’t make it to the top of the social media or search engine heap, but I found them interesting enough to share, like plum kernel ice cream or polenta gelato, made with a type of polenta that no one can get, and an oil that I think may have been in production for all of about six days in the south of France.

I’ve been accused of being someone that didn’t follow the herd, so apologies, but I think it’s fun to tackle a new cooking project, especially one as unusual as this one is, and it’s easy to make, no matter where you are.

Buckwheat flour is what gives kig ha farz its hearty, earthy flavor. A reader in the U.S. recently wrote that when she made buckwheat crêpes (called galettes, in France) hers were almost black. I’d made them for years in the States and didn’t have that problem, but another reader helpfully chimed in that some buckwheat flours are whole-grain and quite dark, unlike French buckwheat flour, which they said was partially refined.

I looked at pictures of American buckwheat flour online and didn’t notice them to be much darker than the French stuff, but the helpful reader suggested the closest replica of French buckwheat flour can be found in Japanese stores, the buckwheat flour they sell for making soba, which is sometimes mixed with wheat flour. I’m going to lug my precious farz sack along with me next time I go to the states, and give it a try. (See? I told you I wasn’t letting it out of my sight.) Some recipes do use a mix of wheat and buckwheat flour, so you could go that route as well, especially if you want something lighter.

Traditionally, kig ha farz is served with a pot-au-feu, a French boiled dinner composed of long-simmered meats and vegetables. Various versions abound but all versions I’ve seen (and there aren’t that many!) involve pork belly or bacon, sausages, and vegetables. A few have beef, so you could use any recipe that you have in your repertoire to make this. Just remember that the kig ha farz needs to be cooked two hours, so it should be a recipe that meets that criterion, and has enough liquid to poach the dumpling.

Speaking of tradition, kig ha farz is sometimes served by the slice, rather than crumbled. I’ve also seen recipes with quite a bit of sugar in the batter, up to 3/4 cup (150g). I share the Breton love of sweets, namely Kouign amann and Sablés Bretons, but I’ll save my sweet tooth for dessert.

And I prefer Kig ha farz crumbled into little bits, which makes it easy to see why it’s referred to as “Breton couscous.” If you are a traditionalist (and let’s face it, some of us can only take that term so far before we reach for what’s handy, or what’s available where we live), you could served it with lipig; a sauce made of melted butter, shallots, and bone marrow, from the os à moelle that you could cook with the meats and vegetables.

Mine was a speedy version, which I made for two. While I simmered the farz, I pan-fried the slab of bacon and a couple of pork chops, then added lightly simmered carrots and turnips that I prepared separately to the pan along with a few generous ladles of the cooking liquid and some stubby smoked sausages, then simmered everything together until it smelled like dinner was ready. Each plate got served with a ladle of the sauce, In lieu of the lipig, you could dab the kig ha farz with some salted butter, which I didn’t do this time, but don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t.

Adapted from The French Farmhouse Cookbook by Susan Loomis.Buckwheat flour is good for people avoiding wheat flour. If you don’t eat meat, this can be served with simmered root vegetables, like turnips, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, hard squash, and even some cabbage. If doing so, I would add some herbs or other flavorings to the water, or cook them in vegetable stock.I’ve linked to some recipes below for making pot-au-feu, the classic meat-based French boiled dinner that kig ha farz is traditionally served with. And I’ve linked to some places where you can get Japanese soba flour (mixed with wheat), as well, which you may want to track down. To approximate the same thing, you could use 80% whole-grain buckwheat flour mixed with 20% wheat flour.I’ve also linked to some places after the recipe where you can get farz sacks in France, and elsewhere. You could also place the mixture in the center of a clean, damp piece of cotton cloth about 2-feet square (60 cm). Gather the corners of the cloth and secure them tightly with kitchen string, leaving room for the mixture to expand by one-third.

2 large eggs

1/2 cup (125ml) whole milk

4 tablespoons (60g) melted butter, salted or unsalted

1 3/4 cups (250g) buckwheat flour (see headnote)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1. Mix together the eggs, milk, and butter in a large bowl.

2. Gradually add the flour, sugar and salt, stirring until smooth.

3. Scrape the mixture into a farz bag, a sack made of unbleached muslin specifically for this purpose. Tie it closed, leaving room for it to expand by about one-third.

4. Simmer the farz in simmering broth, turning it a few times while cooking, for about 2 hours.

5. Drain the sack in the colander very well for 15 minutes. Then take the sack and roll it on the countertop, pressing it firmly back-and-forth, until you can feel the dumpling inside being broken into irregular bits. Continue rolling it on the counter until it’s well-crumbled. If it resists being broken up by rolling the sack, open the sack and break the pieces of buckwheat up with your fingers.

Serving: Serve the kig ha farz with boiled meats, vegetables, or simply a pat of salted butter.

Storage: The kig ha farz can be made up to two days in advance and refrigerated. It can be rewarmed in a microwave oven.

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Breton Buckwheat Dumplings, a gluten-free, regional French specialty that you can make in your own kitchen!

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Giant Bean Gratin (Pizza beans)


I spent much of the fall and winter running around, while a pile of cookbooks waited patiently for me to cook from them. Now that I’m back in the saddle, and in the kitchen, I’m getting around to some of the many recipes that I’ve bookmarked. One of the first that caught my eye was the “Pizza beans” in Smitten Kitchen Every Day.

It also goes by the adult name, “Tomato and Gigante Bean Bake,” but since Deb Perelman, of Smitten Kitchen, has two kids, calling them “pizza” made them more alluring than “bean bake.” Me? I need no excuse to simmer up a pot of beans, especially in the winter, when I am looking for any excuse to keep the oven fires burning.

There was a movement when everyone was told not to salt dried beans when cooking them. And to throw a wrench in another possible misconception, Russ Parsons says you don’t even need to pre-soak them.

As someone who has, so far, managed to resist the allure of adding a slow cooker, pressure cooker, or slow pressure cooker, to what seems to be the ever-shrinking space in my admittedly more-spacious-than-before kitchen, I still pre-soak beans. Even though I trust Mr. Parsons 99 percent, I’m a 1 percenter and still waiting for someone to prepare a side-by-side comparison to see how they come out. Then I turned to the internet and, of course, Kenji did it.

Then there’s the controversy around adding salt to the water while the beans are cooking. Food needs to cook with salt, and doesn’t taste the same when it’s salted afterward. (I got into a tiff with a butcher in Paris about that, when I was served an unsalted steak.) So I add salt when the beans are partially cooked, to split the difference. The real enemy of dried beans is hard water, which I found out the hard way (no pun intended…) when I was cooking dried beans in France and they refused to soften in the mineral-rich water. A teaspoon of baking soda added to the water will often do the trick, and some people use bottled water. Buying dried beans that are less than a year old is helpful, too.

I’m not sure these kinds of beans have a name in French, except for perhaps géant. Haricots des Soissons are excellent and would work well. I found mine in a market that specializes in Turkish ingredients, but in the U.S., Rancho Gordo Royal Corona beans are A+.

(Sharp-eyed readers, and even those that aren’t so sharp-eyed, will see that I cooked the vegetables in one pot, which I did the day before, due to time constraints. I wasn’t just doing it to add some pretty colors in the pictures. I’ve put those notes at the end of the recipe in case you want to make part of this gratin ahead.)

Once done, the beans are mixed with the vegetables and crushed tomatoes. After spending some time under the broiler, the cheese on top becomes bubbly and brown, like Belgian endive gratin.

Unlike Deb’s kids, my charge, Romain, isn’t reluctant to eat beans. And he didn’t need any urging when he had his first taste of garlic bread.

But really, isn’t there anything not to like about a loaf of crusty bread, smeared with lots of garlic, good butter, and sprinkled with some Parmesan cheese before being toasted under a broiler, until the center of the bread is soaked with what tastes like liquid garlic, and the top is brittle, slightly salty from the cheese, and crunchy-brown? I think not.

A couple of things about this gratin. This was designed to be family friendly, and with two toddlers, I suspect Deb was keeping it on the tamer side. If you want a little more oomph to it, feel free to add some crumbled cooked sausage, bacon, or diced chiles. Next time I might add a handful of chopped fresh sage, oregano, or basil to the mix.

Unless you’ve got some hearty appetites in your household, you’ll likely have leftovers. You can put them in a smaller gratin dish and warm them in the oven, then add more cheese and run it under the broiler.

To be honest, this gratin sustained us through three meals. And since I’m being honest (and because I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to change the color of my enamelware dishes in Photoshop), it was best the third day, when all the ingredients had plenty of time to meld into a hearty, cheesy, bubbling gratin. It also gave me an excuse to make garlic bread again, and again, and again.

Giant Bean Gratin  

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Adapted from Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb PerelmanI used kale, but other sturdy greenery, like Swiss chard, broccolini, or mustard greens, would work. I made a few suggestions in the post about adding meat or extra herbs.You’ll need to start with 1 pound (450g) of uncooked beans to get the right amount for the recipe. Coronas are ideal, but the beans I used didn’t have the variety listed on the package. I know that there’s a Polish bean that’s quite large, and found an interesting blog post about them, along with some beans that are similar. Whatever you use, reserve some of the bean liquid if you want to use it in place of the wine (in step #2), and to add back to the beans before cooking, in place of the stock.Whatever you use, try to find the largest beans you can. This is a recipe where size matters.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, peeled and diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced


freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1/3 (80ml) cup white wine (or water, or bean liquid)

5 cups (120g) coarsely chopped kale leaves

2 1/4 cups (550g) canned crushed tomatoes

1 pound (450g) giant beans, cooked drained

about 1/2 cup (125ml) stock (vegetable or chicken) or bean liquid

8 ounces (225g) mozzarella, coarsely grated

1/3 cup (35g) grated Parmesan

coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

1. If you have 2 1/2 to 3 quart (2-3l) stovetop-friendly gratin dish, use that for preparing the vegetables. (You’ll be baking the gratin in the same dish.) If your gratin (or similar sized dish, like a lasagna or braising pan) can’t be used on the stovetop, prepare the vegetables in a large skillet.

2. Heat the olive oil in the dish or pan. Add the onions and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are wilted, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for another minute, then add the wine (or water or bean liquid), scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any stuck-on or browned bits of vegetables. When the wine has been absorbed, add the kale and cook until wilted. Preheat the oven to 475ºF (245ºC).

3. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the drained beans and cook everything together 5 to 10 minutes, adding up to 1/2 cup of stock if the mixture looks dry. Taste, and season with additional salt, if necessary. If you’ve prepared the vegetables and beans in a skillet, up to this point, transfer them to an oven-safe baking dish (as mentioned in step #1).

4. Sprinkle the mozzarella on top of the beans, then the Parmesan, and bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned on top. If you wish, run the gratin under the broiler until the topping is browned to your liking. (If making garlic bread, you can cook it at the same time under the broiler.) Remove the gratin from the oven, top with parsley, and serve.

Serving: Although not required, this goes well with garlic bread. Warm butter with minced garlic and a pinch of salt. Remove from heat and let cool until spreadable (You can also add some dried oregano, a pinch of red pepper flakes to the butter, and/or some chopped parsley after the bread is baked.) Split a crusty loaf of bread, like a baguette, bâtard, or what’s often referred to as “Italian bread” in the U.S.

Lay the bread on a sheet of foil, cut side up, smear garlic butter over the bread. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and run the bread until the broiler until the top is browned.

Storage: If making the dish in advance, you can refrigerate the vegetable mixture for up to three days in advance. Rewarm it before adding it to the baking dish. In which case, it may need a little more liquid added when being rewarmed.

A hearty dish made of giant white beans, tomatoes, and vegetables, under a blanket of bubbling cheese.


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Caramelized Endive and Blue Cheese Tart


When I first heard about tarte Tatin, nothing sounded better to me. What first seems like way too many apples packed into a skillet, then caramelized and baked under a blanket of buttery pastry, then turned out and served warm, became one of my favorite desserts.

I’ve had recipes for them in several of my books, but also enjoy the savory version. I’ve seen upside down tarts made with fennel, tomatoes, carrots, and other root vegetables, but an upside-down caramelized tart with Belgian endive always appeals to me the most. The contrast between the slightly bitter, chewy, spears of endive, make the base for a perfect savory tart, especially in the winter. And I don’t think anyone would disagree.

I’ve mentioned before that in France, Belgian endive isn’t considered a luxury ingredient and is widely available, even in supermarkets, where it’s sold by the kilo (2.2 pound) bag. I seem to always have some since it’s so good added to a winter salad, perhaps with pears, pomegranates, and blue cheese, or braised and baked into a savory gratin.

A while back, someone called me out for being pretentious when writing “bleu” cheese, so I’ve been doing my best to call it blue cheese. (Fortunately endive, and endive, are the same words in English and in French, so you don’t have to suffer through me on that one.) However even in English, bleu sounds better, and I think people know what it means without having to translate it. So you can use any kind of blue, or bleu, cheese that you’d like in this tart. The stronger, the better.

The dough is pretty simple to put together. And since you’re not really going to see it, it doesn’t matter if the sides are perfect, or if it buckles and rises in places.

Once baked, under a crackly, crispy disk, most sins are forgiven, even bleu, or blue ones. And who can quibble with a warm, savory tart on a cold winter day? I know I can’t.

While this caramelized endive tart is especially good right out of the oven, it’s also excellent reheated and served the next day for lunch. You could also cut it into smaller wedges and serve it as an appetizer, and if you’re not fond of blue cheese, slightly aged goat cheese would work just as well.


Caramelized Endive and Blue Cheese Tart

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You could dress this up with some black olives or branches of thyme baked with the endive.I bought puff pastry for this tart because I felt like it. (Actually, I had a gazillion things to do and there are worse problems in the world than using store-bought puff pastry made with all butter.) But if you want to make your own, you’re welcome to. If you’d rather use a standard tart dough for this, make the tart dough that goes with this quiche recipe.If you like a lot of cheese, have some extra bits handy to strew over the finished tart, when it’s warm from the oven. (The heat of the tart should melt the cheese, but you can coax it along with a butter knife.) Chopped chives or parsley would make a nice garnish.

2 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted

1 pound (450g) Belgian endive, about 7 spears

kosher or sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon sugar or honey

4 ounces (115g) blue cheese, cubed, plus additional cubes if you wish, for finishing the tart

8 ounces (230g) puff pastry

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180º).

2. Melt the butter in a 9-inch (23cm) cast iron skillet. Cut the Belgian endive spears in half lengthwise. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the melted butter in the pan and lay the endive spears, cut side down, in the bottom of the pan. They may not all seem to fit right now, but really try to crowd them in together, so they’re as close as possible.

3. Cook the endive spears over medium-high heat, pressing them down as they cook, but doing your best not to disturb or move them around, so they brown nicely on the underside. Once the cut sides of the endive are well-browned about 4 minutes, sprinkle the endives with the sugar or drizzle with honey, cover the pan and put in the oven to bake until the endive spears are almost cooked through, about 25 minutes, depending on their size.

4. Remove the pan of endive from the oven. Distribute the blue cheese cubes in the spaces between the endives, as well as on top of them.

5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry to a 12-inch (31cm) circle. Drape the dough over the endives, and tuck the outside edges of the dough between the endives and the inside of the pan.

6. Bake the tart until the crust is deep golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and overturn a serving platter on top. Holding both the pan and the plate, wearing oven mitts (being careful since some very hot liquid may drip out of the pan when doing this), turn both the plate and pan over to release the tart from the pan. Reunite any endive spears that may have stuck to the pan and bits of cheese. If you’d like, add a few more cubes of blue cheese over the top, while the tart is still warm.

Serving: Serve the tart warm. If you want to make it in advance, it can be rewarmed in a moderate oven, on a baking sheet. It’s best the same day it’s made.

It’s great with a green salad made of winter greens, such as escarole, radicchio, or frisée drizzled with walnut or hazelnut oil and a bit of sea salt. It’s also a good lunch along with a simple green salad with a dressing made with sherry vinegar and minced shallots.

Caramelized Endive and Blue Cheese Tart: A great French recipe for lunch or dinner

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Farro Risotto with Radicchio, Mushrooms, and Bacon


This dish came together rather serendipitously on a Sunday afternoon. I was up to my elbows testing recipes and was looking for something savory for dinner that didn’t require too much prep, or dishes afterward. I’d brought home some colorful radicchio from the market, I had some bacon (don’t I always?), and there was a packet dried mushrooms in a kitchen drawer. So I gathered everything up and searched through my grains, to see what was in there.

I eat a ton of pasta, specifically whole grain pasta, which I can’t resist, especially if there’s garlic or radicchio involved. (And bacon, of course.) But in between a few bags of pasta was a small sack of petit épeautre (wheat berries) and a similar-sized bag of something unlabeled, which I was sure was farro. Whatever it was, the two bags came out to about 1 cup, which was just the right amount to make a wheat berry risotto, or farrotto.

Nope, this isn’t true risotto, since it’s not made with rice, but “stewed wheat” doesn’t sound very appealing. Farrotto is good if using farro, but épeautto doesn’t quite roll off the tongue either. And it was a Sunday night when I made this, and I was more interested in getting dinner on the table than fixating on the right name for it. (Farro isn’t squarely in the French lexicon and no one would have known what I was talking about if I said farrotto.)

Anyhow, back to the food. This was a huge hit. The dried mushroom broth added a deep richness that stock alone doesn’t always give, and the slightly bitter radicchio was tempered by the bits of bacon and creamy Parmesan that melted into the wheat berries. Cracking the wheat berries after they’re cooked helps them release more of their starch, so you get something that’s more emulsified than if you just cooked wheat berries as they are.

Earlier in the week, I felt a bout of la grippe (the flu) coming on and Romain went to the store to get a chicken for soup, and I made a big pot in preparation for being laid up a few days. I wasn’t paying that much attention, as one does when they are in the early stages of the flu, and ended up with quite a bit of liquid in my soup, which I used as stock for this. Fortunately, it was just a mini-bout of le gastro, and I felt better the next morning.

I know in the U.S., canned or boxed stock is a staple in most supermarkets. In France, they rely on le cube, which I’m not fond of, so I try to make my own stock when I can. I don’t use a recipe, I just add a chicken carcass (I often save parts and bones in the freezer for when I’m ready to pull out my stock pot), then add a chopped onion, a carrot or two, a bay leaf, and a few sprigs of thyme, then let everything simmer for a few hours on the stove.

In addition to not coming down with the flu, I was really happy with how this came out. It’s much heartier than risotto and less fussy; it’s one of those dishes where all the ingredients come together, and compliment each other, homey enough for a Sunday night dinner, but I’m thinking of making it again next week when I have company.

Paris Pop-Up Dinner!

On February 23rd I’ll be hosting a pop-up dinner in Paris, with recipes from My Paris Kitchen at Café Méricourt. (Books will be available for purchase and signing.) There will be two dinner seatings, 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm, and reservations are now being taken via their website. It’ll be a pre-fixe menu, and is posted on their website. [Update: The event has sold-out. I’ll revise this here, and on my Schedule page, if any spaces open up. Thanks! – dl]

Farro Risotto (Farrotto) with Radicchio and Bacon

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Different wheat berries (and farro) may take different amounts of time to pre-cook in step 2. You want them slightly tender, a little less than half-cooked, not completely cooked. Feel free to play around with the recipe. Omit the bacon if you’re vegetarian, replace the radicchio with other stewed greens, or add herbs that you like, sage and rosemary are possible swap-outs for the thyme. (If using rosemary, go easy on it as the flavor can be overwhelming.) You could add sautéed mushrooms, bits of cooked chicken, or roasted squash in step 9.I used dried porcini mushrooms, which are available at some produce stores and well-stocked supermarkets, but you can use whatever dried mushrooms are available, or another favorite. Some dried mushrooms may need to be cleaned by soaking in a change of hot water once or twice, although mine didn’t. Follow the instructions on the package or ask the vendor how best to treat yours.Serve the risotto/farrotto in warm soup bowls or plates, mounding it in the center. Shave Parmesan over the top, and sprinkle with additional fresh herbs.

3/4 ounce (20g) dried mushrooms

3/4 cup (180ml) hot water

1 cup (200g) farro or wheat berries (petit épeautre, in France)

olive oil

4 strips bacon, diced (you can use thick- or thin-cut)

3 to 4 cups (100-120g) coarsely chopped radicchio,

4 small shallots, peeled and minced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

kosher or sea salt

2 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted

2/3 cup (160ml) dry white wine

1 cup (90g/3ounces) grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving

2 branches fresh thyme, plus 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme

4 cups (1l) chicken or vegetable stock

additional fresh herbs, chopped, for garnish, such as thyme, chives or parsley

1. Put the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and pour the hot water over them. Set aside for 20 to 30 minutes.

2. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 quart (1l) of water until boiling. Add the farro or wheat berries and cook until they’re slighty tender, but still a ways from being fully cooked, about 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and, using an immersion blender, pulse the wheat berries six or so times so that some of them (roughly one-quarter to one-third of them) are broken up and cracked. Strain though a mesh stainer. (I reserved the liquid, just in case I needed it later if I didn’t have enough stock. I didn’t use it, but you may want to hang onto it, just in case.)

3. In a small bowl, mix the minced shallots and garlic. In a medium skillet, heat some olive oil and cook the bacon, stirring, until cooked through but not crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool. Drain off excess fat, wipe the pan clean, and add the radicchio. Cook the radicchio over medium heat, stirring constantly with a little of the shallot and garlic mixture, and a pinch of salt, until wilted. You may need to add a little olive oil if the radicchio sticks. Transfer the radicchio to a plate.

4. Squeeze the mushrooms dry and coarsely chop them. Put them on the plate with the radicchio.

5. Heat the stock in a saucepan and keep it warm on the stove.

6. In a 4- to 6-quart (4-6l) casserole or Dutch oven, heat some olive oil with the butter, sprigs of thyme, along with the remaining shallots and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the shallots and garlic are soft and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes.

7. Add the drained farro or wheat berries and stir to combine with the shallots and garlic. Add the white wine and continue to cook, stirring, until the wine is absorbed. Using a ladle, add enough of the warm stock to cover the farro so there is a layer of liquid about 1/4-inch (1cm) floating on top. Adjust the heat so that the mixture is simmering. It should be bubbling gently, not boiling.

8. Continue to cook, adding additional stock (about 1/2 cup/60ml at a time) as the layer of liquid on the top gets absorbed, while stirring. When two-thirds of the stock has been used, add the mushroom liquid and continue to cook, adding more stock and stirring. The process will take 20 to 30 minutes.You may not have used all the stock. If you need a bit more liquid, use the reserved cooking liquid.

9. When the farro has softened add the bacon, radicchio, chopped dried mushrooms, and minced thyme. Cook a few more minutes, plucking out the thyme branches and adding the grated Parmesan. Stir while the mixture simmers, until everything is absorbed and incorporated.

Serve on warm soup plates with additional grated Parmesan and a sprinkling of fresh herbs.

A delicious take on risotto with farro (cracked wheat), flavorful radicchio, and bacon. A great first or main course, or a hearty side dish too!

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Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was an American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, naturalist, and reformer who served as the 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909. As a leader of the Republican Party during this time, he became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States in the early 20th century. Born a sickly child with debilitating asthma, Roosevelt successfully overcame his health problems by embracing a strenuous lifestyle. He integrated his exuberant personality, vast range of interests, and world-famous achievements into a "cowboy" persona defined by robust masculinity. Home-schooled, he became a lifelong naturalist before attending Harvard College. His first of many books, The Naval War of 1812 (1882), established his reputation as both a learned historian and as a popular writer. Upon entering politics, he became the leader of the reform faction of Republicans in New York's state legislature. Following the deaths of his wife and mother, he took time to grieve by escaping to the wilderness of the American West and operating a cattle ranch in the Dakotas for a time, before returning East to run unsuccessfully for Mayor of New York City in 1886. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under [popover image="" content="William McKinley was the 25th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until his assassination in September 1901, six months into his second term" position="top" contentwidth="500"]William McKinley[/popover], resigning after one year to serve with the Rough Riders, where he gained national fame for courage during the Spanish–American War. Returning a war hero, he was elected governor of New York in 1898. The state party leadership distrusted him, so they took the lead in moving him to the prestigious but powerless role of vice president as McKinley's running mate in the election of 1900. Roosevelt campaigned vigorously across the country, helping McKinley's re-election in a landslide victory based on a platform of peace, prosperity, and conservatism.

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