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Fun with Farro

I’ve been foolin’ around with farro, that amazing grain, which is, in truth, wheat. A whole grain, an ancient grain.  It’s nutty and complex, with a mouthfeel that is both yielding and firm. BFE8FD60-1F89-458D-B636-823B3DA37E3B

And it’s super easy to cook.

Farro is an ancient grain, literally un-messed-with. To quote Wikipedia, “Farro is an ethnobotanical term for three species of hulled wheat: spelt (Triticum spelta), emmer (Triticum dicoccum), and einkorn(Triticum monococcum). Hulled wheat is wheat that cannot be threshed.[1]

Emmer is considered ‘true’ farro and is traced back to the Tuscany region of Italy. Frankly, I’m not sure which kind of farro I’m using.  It doesn’t look hulled so it’s not ‘pearled,’ a process that completely or partially strips the hull from the germ.

Anyway.  Recipes.  For work I made a farro, mushroom and tomato stew and a coconut & farro porridge.  Both were fantastic. Before I post this I’ll nail down a farro risotto which should be b0mb!

Farro, Mushroom & Tomato stew

1 c farro (uncooked)

1/2 c white wine

2 cups stock (I use veg stock, preferably home made)

1 c water*

2 cups sliced mushrooms 

1 shallot, small dice

1 can good tomato product, preferably San Marzano plum 

1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half

1 c kale, julienne

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 green onions, bias cut, separating green and white

3 T olive oil

2 T kosher salt or TT

Combine wine, stock and water. Bring to a boil. Add farro and 1 T olive oil. Simmer for 10 minutes then remove from heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes (or as long as it takes to prep the veggies).

In a soup pot, sauté shallot, then mushrooms. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.  

Drain farro retaining excess liquid.  Add farro, the white part of the scallions, and tomato products to sautéed veg. Add back enough of the farro water to make a stew-like consistency.  Simmer for 5 minutes, and adjust seasoning. 

Add kale and cook for 5 more minutes. Serve garnished with green onion (vegan prep) or Parmesan (vegetarian prep) or bacon (omnivore prep).

* I add water or the stew just tastes like boring veg stew. Let the farro shine!

Farro and Coconut porridge with stewed, dried fruit

1 can unsweetened coconut milk

1 cup farro 1/2 cup toasted, unsweetened coconut 

1 T maple syrup

1 t salt

4 c water

Bring all above to a boil and simmer on low, stirring intermittently, for 30 min - 1 hour. The grains should be chewy and soft. Alternately, the porridge can be brought to a boil, simmered for 10 minutes then chilled overnight.

That’s the basic porridge. The toppings make it magical. For work I combined 3/4 cup of dried cherries 🍒 (any dried fruit would work), 3 T maple syrup and a pinch of salt to a 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil and simmer just a few minutes.  Steep three Earl Gray tea bags in the stewed fruit for 3 minutes. 

Dried fruit stewed in wine would be delish too.

Spoon on stewed fruit and top with additional toasted coconut.

Farro Risotto (in a pressure cooker or instapot)

1 c Farro 35F9CAA7-8FF7-4F0A-A5BA-67CCE4219B74

1 lg shallot, small dice

2 c stock (I used parm broth** and beef stock)

1/2 cup white wine

1 T OO

1 T butter (unsalted)

To finish:

1/2 cup grated Parmesan 

Sauté shallot in OO and butter.  Add white wine to deglaze. Add stock (any combo of stocks or similar liquids). 12 min on high pressure. Quick release and reduce remaining liquid to desired consistency.

Now… this is just the suggestion of a farro base.  I sautéed mushrooms and asparagus and topped the risotto with them. But really anything would be good. Zucchini, or any squash, peas, kale, sautéed onion, caramellized onion, bacon, ground pork…I could go on for hours but you get the point. 

Also, wouldn’t waste high-end ingredients like lobster on this risotto. But… cleaning out the veg drawer? Freezer? Off-season CSA? Absolutely.

** Parm broth is this lovely concoction of Parmesan cheese rinds in a crock pot for eight hours with aromatics, covered with water plus one-inch yielding a Parmesan stock. For this recipe I mixed parm broth with beef remolage (weak stock).


Eat well & love BIG

xoxo nancy






August 11, 2021