Farro is described as a food composed of the grains of certain wheat species. 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.
Farro is not gluten-free, but is considerably lower in gluten than wheat. And since it has not been bred for thousands of years for maximum yield, it is more digestible than other forms of wheat.
The key to cooking farro is to not overcook it! So many people do which cause it to puff open and be starchy and wet. It is best cooked when it is nicely chewy.
Farro can be used like any other grain, so you can substitute it into any recipe. Here’s one that I put together from memory:
Farro With Roasted Tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- ¾ cup uncooked farro
- 1 teaspoon sherry cooking wine
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- Chopped fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Mix together oil, honey and garlic in a large bowl. Add tomatoes and toss until thoroughly coated. Pour tomatoes onto a baking pan.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until wrinkled and soft but not mushy.
- Remove tomatoes from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
- While tomatoes are cooking, place farro in medium saucepan and cover with water to 2 inches above the farro. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Add the farro to the tomato mixture. Add the vinegar and salt and toss gently. Top with walnuts and feta and garnish with a little chopped basil.
It is a very light, simple dish that can be a side or a meal by itself.
The number of grains that are out there is growing daily. Hard to keep up with all of them!