Recipe: Farro with Collard Greens and Bacon Salt

Farro with Collard Greens and Bacon Salt

Yep, you heard me right. Bacon Salt. It has been all over the blogosphere lately, but I had no idea it was vegetarian until Keren brought some to give away to our last food blogger get together. I shouldn’t have been surprised, as processed bacon bits are a soy product too. I generally don’t cook with artificial flavors, but I took it as a challenge to use it at least once, and I have to admit I liked the results.

Greens are often cooked with pork in both the American south and in Italy as well. I had some beautiful pearled farro that I brought home from our Italy trip, so a plan came together for a simple and hearty one-pot meal.

If you haven’t used farro before, I really recommend you try some. It is a very ancient whole grain, one of the staples of the Roman poor. I find the flavor somewhere between wheat and barley. It is a very nice change of pace from rice and couscous.

This recipe is vegetarian but not vegan because the bacon salt contains milk products of some sort.

Farro with Collard Greens and Bacon Salt
Serves 4

  • 4 servings of farro (see below)
  • 1/2 small can chickpeas, drained
  • 3 big bunches of collard greens or other strong-flavored greens (not spinach)
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 6 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 t. chili flakes
  • 1 t. Bacon Salt (or regular salt and smoked paprika)
  1. Cook 4 servings of farro according to package directions. (Actually you should probably make 6 servings because serving sizes are always too small, right!). There are a number of different types with different cooking times, so it is better if I don’t give you specific details, but cook until it is tender but not falling apart. Drain, and stir in chickpeas.
  2. Remove stems from greens, rinse thoroughly and chop coarsely
  3. In a large soup pot, fry the onions in 2 T. of the oil. When slightly brown, add the chili flakes and garlic and fry for 20 more seconds.
  4. Add the greens and a small splash of water if they aren’t wet. Cover. After a minute or two, reduce heat to medium low. Stir occasionally until they are very thoroughly tender and wilted.
  5. Remove from, drain excess water, and toss with the remaining olive oil and the Bacon Salt.
  6. To serve, simply put the farro in a bowl or on a plate, top with the greens, and lightly toss. Pass more good olive oil, sea salt, bacon salt, and black pepper at the table.
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Posted by Michael Natkin on Sunday, January 6th, 2008 in Main Courses, Recipes.

11 Responses to “Recipe: Farro with Collard Greens and Bacon Salt”

  1. Reply
    January 6, 2008 at 9:56 pm #

    Yeah, I was about to write about the non-meatiness of Ba-cos but you already mentioned it 🙂
    I wish I could get my hands on some farro. I tried to look for some but could only find cracked bulghur, which looked messy (I wanted whole grains, they look better in pictures). I ended up buying couscous, which is a real disappointment.

  2. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    January 6, 2008 at 10:03 pm #

    I can imagine farro might be hard to find in Manila. If you are desperate enough you can buy it on Amazon.

  3. Reply
    January 7, 2008 at 3:27 pm #

    Hmmm…Bacon Salt, huh? My husband was just saying the other day that he wished there was a vegetarian version of bacon. Not too thrilled about the artificial flavoring aspect, but maybe a little bit isn’t too bad. We use all these other substitutions (capers for anchovies, tofu/mushrooms/cheese for meat), so maybe I’ll have to give Bacon Salt a chance. Just gotta see how bad the ingredients are first.

    • Reply
      August 27, 2012 at 10:42 am #

      try FAKIN BACON BITS by Frontier for great flavor added to collards or any greens. i add them to beans as well. have not seen bacon salt, but not crazy
      about “artificial ingredients”.

  4. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    January 8, 2008 at 3:53 pm #

    Thanks, Bri! You know what else is a good sub for anchovies in sauces that are pureed? Arame seaweed, soaked and then ground. It has that very good taste of the sea. (Got this trick from Cafe Flora!).

  5. Reply
    January 8, 2008 at 4:03 pm #

    Thanks, Michael. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with arame before, so I’ll check it out. I wouldn’t normally think of using a so-called Japanese ingredient in Italian food, but hey, do the Japanese have a corner on the ocean? 🙂

  6. Reply
    January 25, 2008 at 2:06 pm #

    The Hickory is my absolute favorite flavor…I sautee some kale with it, add shiitake mushrooms and them some balsamic vinegar…oh and a glove of garlic


    I adore the bacon salt, it’s my favorite condiment!

  7. Reply
    January 30, 2008 at 6:39 pm #

    The hickory flavor is vegan and all are kosher. These are local boys and I’m thrilled to use their products- like a kid with a new toy.

  8. Reply
    July 8, 2009 at 12:33 pm #

    Since this post, btw, the Bacon Salt folks have come out with a natural version that can be found in Whole Foods… no MSG!

  9. Reply
    November 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    I have also heard that smoked garlic gives a good substitute for bacon. I have not tried it yet.

  10. Reply
    Angie B
    October 23, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

    Fabulous! I added blanched beet greens and roasted golden beets, YUM!

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