with Mashed Cannellini and Farro Marinara
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- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 pound eggplant
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil*
- Salt and pepper*
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 3/4 cups farro
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 lemon
- Fresh parsley
- Fresh rosemary
- 1 can cannellini beans
- *not included
Turn the broiler to high; put the rack about 4 inches from the heat. Peel the onion; chop the onion and garlic. Rinse and dry the eggplant; cut it crosswise into 1 1/2-inch rounds. Put the eggplant on a large rimmed baking sheet.
Put 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the onion and garlic, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables soften a bit, 2 or 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, farro, and 1 cup water and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat so it bubbles gently but steadily. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the grains are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Rub the eggplant rounds lightly on both sides with 4 teaspoons oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until they’re browned on one side, 2 to 5 minutes. Turn once or twice, rotating them in the pan and adjusting the heat and position as necessary to prevent them from burning. When they’re deeply browned, turn off the broiler and drizzle the tops of the eggplant with the balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon at a time, using the back of the spoon to spread the liquid a bit;return the pan to the broiler to stay warm.
Rinse, dry, and halve the lemon; squeeze the juice from one half into a small bowl (save the other half for another use). Rinse and dry half the parsley and pinch an inch from 1 sprig rosemary (save the rest for another use); strip the leaves from the stems from each, keeping them separate, and chop them. Drain and rinse the cannellini beans. Transfer 3/4 cup beans to the bowl with the lemon juice (refrigerate the rest in an airtight container for another use, like topping toast or salad). Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and the rosemary, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and mash with a fork to form a rough paste.
Taste and adjust the seasoning of the farro. To serve, spread a large spoonful of the bean mixture over half of each plate and put some farro on the side. Top with the eggplant steaks and garnish with the parsley.