Photo: Tara Donne; Styling: Alistair Turnbull
This rustic dish serves as a tutorial for both steam- and dry-roasting. Serve the fruit and vegetables with the savory farro porridge and sweet-sour mostarda for brunch, a vegetarian main course, or a festive side dish.
Recipe adapted from Slow Fires. Copyright 2015 by Justin Smillie. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. $40, 320 pages.
Serves 8 (serving size: 1 cup vegetable mixture and 1/2 cup porridge)
1. To prepare porridge, bring 9 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat in a large Dutch oven; stir in farro. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until farro has released its starch. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese and butter.
2. Preheat oven to 400°. While farro cooks, prepare vegetables. Prepare 2 (24 x 18-inch) sheets of foil. Place beets in center of 1 sheet. Place carrots in center of other sheet. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 5 thyme sprigs. Seal packets tightly. Place packets directly on the floor of the oven. Roast carrots at 400° for 25 minutes or until tender, turning every 10 minutes. Roast beets 50 minutes or until very tender, turning every 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Peel and quarter beets.
3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add pears and apple, cut side down, to skillet; cook 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 12 minutes or until caramelized. Turn fruit over. Add sage to pan. Roast at 400° for 10 minutes. Add chestnuts to pan; roast an additional 5 minutes. Discard sage. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add beets and carrots to pan; heat thoroughly. Quarter pears; cut apple into 8 wedges.