This dish is inspired by a Moroccan porridge called herbel, which Mourad Lahlou’s mother and grandmother used to cook for him.
It’s traditionally made with barley, milk, butter and cinnamon, but Lahlou likes doing it his own way, substituting other grains such as farro instead of barley.
5 tablespoons unsalted butter4 scallions, white and tender green parts only, sliced8 ounces (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) farroSaltFreshly ground pepper1 quart vegetable stock2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil3 cups (1-inch pieces) cauliflower florets1 tablespoon sherry vinegar4 (large) eggs
In a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Add the scallions and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the farro, season with salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add 1/2 cup of the stock and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until it is absorbed before adding more. The farro is done when it’s al dente, about 30 minutes.
In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the cauliflower, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat until tender and browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower to the farro along with the vinegar and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Season with salt and keep warm.
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the eggs and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Spoon the farro into 8 bowls. Peel the eggs and carefully remove the egg whites to keep the yolks whole. Carefully place the intact yolks in the center of each bowl of farro; discard the whites. Serve right away.