In my quest to eat more consciously – both for myself and for the environment – I’ve attempted to relegate meat to a mere seasoning in most dishes, rather than a main component. Moving a bit down the food chain is both good for health and exerts less stress on the planet.
That does not, however, mean that food must be tasteless and bland. Just as many people recommend buying more expensive, flavorful cheeses and using them in moderation rather than using copious amounts of the near tasteless cheap stuff, such is the case with meals like this. Most people can agree that bacon is the wunderkind of meats – if it can turn hardcore veggies back to meat, it’s good in my book.
Here I’ve taken farro (or wheat berries, depending on where you live) and French green lentils and topped them with braised mustard and turnip greens, bacon, and mushrooms. It takes some nutritional powerhouses and gussies them up with the luscious fattiness we crave. I’m almost positive that my heart won’t take issue with the bacon fat once it realizes it’s coating super-healthy greens…right?
Even for those who aren’t fans of greens in general (which is a travesty, FYI), this dish is sure to please with the big chunks of bacon and flavorful mushrooms. If you’re not too keen on the toothsome farro (much like my husband is not) just boil it for about 5 minutes before you add the lentils to the pot of salted water.
Farro and Lentils with Braised Greens and Bacon
½ cup farro
½ cup French green lentils (Lentils du Puy)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into chunks
16 oz chopped mustard and turnip greens, chopped into bite size pieces (in your produce section)
8 oz sliced mushrooms
Shaved Parmigiana Reggiano for garnish (optional)
Combine the farro, lentils, and garlic cloves in a pot and cover completely with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on doneness desired.
Meanwhile, brown the bacon in a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat until most of the fat is rendered. Add the greens and cook for a few minutes (you might have to add in batches to get them to fit). Cover the pan and let cook for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until done to taste.
Drain the farro and lentils, discarding the garlic cloves. Top with the greens and mushrooms and shave some cheese to garnish if desired.