The first time I heard about farro was while watching Giada de Laurentiis on the Food Network years ago. She explained farro as an ancient Italian wheat grain that boasted major nutritional benefits. I neatly packaged that parcel of information in the back of my mind. If I ever saw farro at the store (for an affordable price), then I would try it out.
A few weeks ago while at work, a royal purple package jumped out at me from the metro shelf dedicated to food items. It was a 1-pound box of farro. If you have access to a store like Whole Foods that has rows upon rows of bulk legume and grain bins, I’m sure you’d be able to score some farro there. I bought it that day and came home to scan Giada’s (who else?) cookbook where I found a beautifully simple, fresh, and rustic recipe that was right up my alley. I ended up eating this farro with pesto for lunch one day and as a side for dinner the next. It keeps well, tastes fabulous, and is seriously good for you.
How good? It is rich in fiber and high in vitamins A, B, C, and E plus protein, minerals, and easy to digest.
Taste: Nutty, cheesy, slightly salty, fresh. A perfect balance of flavors.
Texture: This was the first time I had eaten farro and I LOVE it. The texture is wonderful, slightly crunchy and chewy.
Ease: The food processor does almost all the work in this recipe
Appearance: Rustic yet elegant.
Pros: Healthy, keeps well in the fridge, simple.
Would I make this again? Already eaten this dish twice!
|Mise en Place. Note – I halved the recipe when I made it.|
Farro with Coarse Pesto
From Giada’s Kitchen
Note: If you don’t own a food processor, you could always use a mortar & pestle.
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound farro
- 2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pecorino cheese wedge, for garnish
Meanwhile, in a food processor combine the parsley, basil, thyme, and garlic. Pulse until the herbs are roughly chopped. Add the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pulse again until the herbs make a coarse mixture.
Toss the warm farro with the coarse pesto. Transfer to a serving bowl. Using a vegetable peeler on the cheese wedge to make about 1/2 cup of cheese shavings. Top the farro with the cheese shavings and serve.