What the Heck is Farro…? Plus an End of Summer Veggie and Farro Salad!
How about a quick lesson on my newest and favorite food find? You in? I’m droppin’ knowledge. Let’s talk farro!
Farro is a grain commonly and presently grown in Italy. It doesn’t have strictly Italian roots… those roots would probably be somewhere in the Middle East, but Italy is a mighty fine producer of farro these days.
Farro is a wild cousin of wheat. If you’re farmiliar with barley, I would say that farro is very similiar.
When cooked, farro is often shaped like a giant puffed rice. It’s nutty in flavor and has a slightly crunchy texture. I know it as a super healthy whole grain that keeps me full for hours and hours… an almost impossible task. It’s full of fiber and even has a great amount of protein in it!
I most often use farro to fatten up soups or to make a nice sauteed vegetable salad. Salads with farro are delicious warm, or room temperature, or cold standing in front of the fridge sometime past midnight.
We’re not done here…. click on through, won’t you?
So, I know what you’re thinking. Ok, ok Joy… farro is sooooooo great, but how do I cook the stuff?
Well… I was getting to that. Hold your horses!
Some recipes might suggest that you soak your farro overnight before cooking it. I don’t think such a process is entirely necessary. I boiled my dried farro in salted water for about 15 minutes, drained it, tossed in sauteed vegetables, lemon and olive oil and I was golden. It’s a gorgeous side dish. It’s a satisfying main dish. It’s just all together rad!
Where the heck do you buy farro? Try your local natural food store or Whole Foods, in the bulk bins. There are also plenty of places online you might scope it out. Look around for farro. It’s totally worth it!
Farro Salad with Red Peppers, Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes and Lemon
1 heaping cup dried farro
6 cups of boiling water
2 teaspoons salt
1 large zucchini, diced
1 medium onion diced
a clove of garlic, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
a handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
juice of 1 lemon
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add two teaspoons of salt and dried farro. Turn heat to medium and boil farro until it is tender with a slight bite to it. This took me about 15 to 20 minutes.
Once cooked, drain farro and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Add onions, peppers, garlic and zucchini and saute until cooked through but still vibrant in color, about 5 minutes. Toss in the tomatoes and cumin and salt and pepper towards the end of cooking the vegetables.
Toss cooked vegetables with cooked farro. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Before serving, finish the farro with a hearty squeeze of lemon juice and a healthy drizzle of olive oil.