I’m sure many of you are reading this and saying, “What is Farro and can I really find 5 recipes that make a great meal using the grain.” Well trust me, there are many uses for this product, but the five below are quick, easy, great tasting and guaranteed to have you diners asking for more.
Before we start with the good stuff here is the Wilpedia definition for Farro, which by the way is very popular in Mediterranean counties, especially Italy.
“Farro is a food product composed of the grains of certain wheat species in whole form. The exact definition is debated. It is sold dried and is prepared by cooking in water until soft, but still crunchy (many recommend first soaking overnight). It may be eaten plain, though it is often used as an ingredient in dishes such as salads and soups. It is sometimes ground into flour and used to make pasta or bread.”
Recipe #1 Farro and Artichokes Hearts: When I had my Italian Specialty Shop we made this every day and the dish had a loyal following. Be sure to buy artichokes hearts in water not oil. Soak and cook 1 cup of the Farro according to package directions. While the Farro is cooking, drain the artichokes and cut 20 to 25 of them in half.
Combine the artichokes and Farro; add chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste and you’re done. You can also add grape or cherry tomatoes cut in half for a little extra zip.
Recipe #2 Warm Farro Salad: Got this one from the Food Network and make it all the time.
Toss 2 cups cubed winter squash and 1 pint cherry tomatoes with olive oil and salt on a baking sheet; roast at 425 degrees F until tender, 25 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 1 cup Farro in a saucepan with 1/2 teaspoon salt, a pinch of red pepper flakes, a bay leaf and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a simmer over high heat, and then reduce the heat to medium low and cook, uncovered, until al dente, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the Farro (remove the bay leaf) and toss with the squash, tomatoes, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 3 tablespoons each chopped parsley and grated Pecorino. Season with salt and pepper.
Recipe #3 One Pan Farro with Tomatoes: This dish comes from a favorite blog site of mine The Smitten Kitchen which claims this is a take on a Martha Steward dish. I really like the fact that clean up is so easy.
Place water and Farro in a medium saucepan to presoak, while you prepare the other ingredients and adding to the pot as you finish preparing them. Cut a large onion into thinly sliced quarter-moons. Thinly slice garlic cloves as well and halve or quarter tomatoes. Add salt (I like sea salt), pepper (to taste) and 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan for 30 minutes. Bring uncovered pan up to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. If Farro is still hard, cook it for 5 additional minutes, until more tender.
Transfer to a wide serving bowl and drizzle Farro lightly with additional olive oil, scatter with basil and Parmesan.
Recipe #4 Chicken Salads with Farrro and Pistachios: If you have been following this blog at all, you know how much I love using Sicilian pistachios in recipes. This one is real simple and a great use for leftover chicken.
Toss leftover shredded chicken with Farro, chopped fresh herbs, chopped shallots, and chopped roasted Sicilian pistachios. If you can’t locate Sicilian pistachios, any shelled pistachio will do. Add your favorite vinaigrette and you are done
Recipe #5 Smoked Turkey and Farro Salad: Whisk 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar, 3 tbsp. chopped shallots and 1/4 tsp.pepper in a large bowl. Add the 1 cup cooked Farro, 6 ounces of thickly sliced smoked turkey (have your deli man slice it 1/2 thick), 1/2 cup diced cheese, 1 cup diced bell pepper, I large chopped celery stalk, 1 diced/firm avocado and 3/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes; toss to coat.
You can make this in advance and present the next day, just leave the avocado until just before serving.
There you have it. 5 great recipes using my favorite grain Farro. Give them a go!
- Spring Pea and Farro Soup (mnn.com)
- Farro…the Italian substitute for PASTA (teresalamaltesa.wordpress.com)
- Farro with Pea Mint Pesto and Summer Vegetables (lifelovelemons.com)
- Dave Matthews Band Farro Salad Recipe (kayskeepers.blogspot.com)
- Cauliflower and Broccoli Farro (andreasgardencooking.com)