Wholly Grains: Falling in Love with Farro
Autumn is a time of year that can inspire us to cook hearty comfort foods. In an attempt to boost protein and fiber in your diet, try cooking whole grains. Welcome to Wholly Grains: a series celebrating the greatness of grains. This week let’s focus on farro, a whole wheat (not gluten free, unfortunately) grain popular in Italian and Mediterranean cooking. Organic farro grain is available at the Co-op in packages or in bulk!
A sack of farro grain is an unlikely muse. It absorbs plenty of liquid. The grain itself has an earthy, nutty flavor with a soft and slightly chewy texture. While its origins are debated and it can often be confused with spelt or einkorn wheat or emmer wheat, farro is descended from an ancient strain of hard wheat, cultivated early in the fertile crescent of western Asia.
To cook farro: use 2 cups grain to 4-5 cups liquid. Bring liquid to a boil, add grain, bring back to a boil, cover and cook on low heat (simmer) for 25-40 minutes or until grains have absorbed all liquid. You can use water, vegetable stock, chicken stock, wine, or beer. Depending on which liquid you choose, it may impart a flavor to the cooked grain, so consider what you want to do with it beforehand. If you wish to explore a range of culinary possibilities, use water as a neutral cooking liquid.
Farro has a supple texture that works well in both sweet and savory dishes. It is especially well suited to be eaten as a hot or cold cereal. Add to granola or try on its own, mixed with nuts, fruit and/or seeds. The following breakfast recipe is a delicious powerhouse of nutrition supplies a host of healthiness: from Omega-3 fatty acids to antioxidants, calcium, fiber, and a great combination of animal and plant protein. Check out the following recipes for more fun with farro.
Good Morning Farro
- 2 cups cooked farro
- 2 handfuls of frozen blueberries
- 2 tbsp. shelled hemp seed
- 1 cup Grace Harbor Golden Guernsey yogurt
Directions: Combine ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!
Farro can also be an excellent addition to soups and salads. Treat it like a couscous and dress farro grain with your favorite vinegar and oil, add some fresh or roasted veggies and some seasoning, and you’re set.
Farro Salad with Fresh Herbs & Cheese
- 3 cups cooked farro
- Olive oil, start with a drizzle and adjust to taste, approx. 3 tbsp.
- Balsamic vinegar, a splash or two
- Fresh cilantro, mint or parsley
- Handful of crumbled fresh goat cheese (chevre) or feta (use cow, sheep or goat’s milk based feta)
- Roasted tomatoes with garlic from the Co-op Olive Bar
Combine ingredients in large bowl, serve at room temperature.