Makes 4 main course servings
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped into ¼-inch dice
1 cup celery, peeled and chopped into ¼-inch dice
1 cup carrot, peeled and chopped into ¼-inch dice
1 cup fennel, tough outer leaves removed and chopped into ¼-inch dice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
2 anchovies, rinsed and chopped
3 cups thinly sliced kale (center rib removed)
1 cup farro (available in specialty food stores, Italian food stores and sometimes health-food stores)
4 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock or water
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon chopped lemon zest
¼ cup chopped green olives
½ cup chopped curly parsley
16 ounces Atlantic char or wild salmon, skin on, cut into 4 4-ounce filets
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup chopped pistachios, optional
Heat the 3 tablespoons olive oil in a dutch-oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots and fennel. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tender and lightly browned. Add the garlic, fennel seeds and anchovy and cook 1 minute. Add the kale, farro, stock or water and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the farro is tender, about 35 minutes, adding more liquid if necessary. It should be quite creamy, like a loose risotto. Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the lemon zest, olives, and parsley.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season the fish with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, add the fish, skin side down, reduce the heat to medium and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fish and desired doneness.
To serve, put a spoonful of farro in the center of 4 warm plates. Set a piece of fish on top. Drizzle the fish with the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice. Sprinkle the pistachios over the top if desired.
Makes about 4 cups cooked farro.