Farro & Parmesan Pie

Farro & Parmesan Pie

Adapted from Recipe at Luce
Portland, Oregon

Eggs and I started off amicably enough. As a young girl, my grandfather often made me Sunday breakfast. Soft-boiled eggs, served in a heavy old ceramic cup shaped like Humpty Dumpty. Humpty wore a red bow tie. Humpty had panache.

Then one day things went south with the introduction of special scrambled eggs. What were the white crumbly bits? Extra whites, I was told. Eat up. More like throw up. They were brains. Brains. After that eggs and I parted company for a couple of decades.

In retrospect I didn't miss out on anything. The eggs of my youth had pale tasteless yolks and thin cloudy whites. Trucked across the country from factory farms to grocery chains, they were many weeks old when we bought them.

Fast forward to here and now. Have you noticed signs advertising fresh eggs all over Bainbridge Island? Stop in for a dozen and chances are the eggs will be only hours, if not minutes from the hen house. Crack one open and a burnished orange yolk sits high atop thick, clear whites. Their flavor rich and deep.

I'm still not going to eat brains, but eggs are once again on my breakfast menu. Next Saturday while you're out running errands, walk over to Farmers' Market for fresh greens and eggs, then head down to Hitchcock deli for the best smoked bacon, thickly sliced. If you have time, pop over to Pane D'amore for a loaf of fresh-baked hearth bread. Next door at the Heyday Farm Store they've got eggs, too. Then come Sunday morning while the coffee brews, ten minutes is all you need to throw together breakfast. Just spread a slab of toast with butter. Cook slices of bacon, and put them on the toast with a pile of shredded greens tossed in olive oil and vinegar. Fry an egg in butter, or the leftover bacon fat, and add it to the pile. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Simple, local, delicious.

If you’re feeling a little more ambitions try your hand at farro pie. I swiped the recipe from Luce in Portland. It’s great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, can be served hot or at room temperature, and lends itself to many variations depending on what’s in season.

Farro & Parmesan Pie

6 Servings

Olive oil (for pan) 1 cup farro, spelt, or wheat berries 2 cups finely grated hard cheese, divided (such as parmesan or gruyere) 1 cup heavy cream 1 cup whole milk 2 teaspoons kosher salt Pinch of nutmeg 4 large eggs

Optional: sautéed spring onions and broccoli raab or steamed greens such as spinach, kale, chard, or collard greens.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place uncooked farro on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until fragrant and slightly darker in color, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.

Add toasted farro to boiling water and cook until tender but still al dente, 20–25 minutes. Drain; let cool slightly.

Whisk 1 3/4 cups cheese, cream, milk, salt, nutmeg, and eggs in a large bowl. Fold in cooked farro and veggies if using. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake until puffed and just set in center (center will jiggle slightly when pan is nudged), about 40 minutes. Remove from oven. Preheat broiler.

Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan over top of pie. Broil until top is golden brown, 3–4 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Cut in wedges and serve. Farro pie pairs well with a green salad with a mustard vinaigrette.

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