Basic Farro

Seven or eight years ago a local Italian food goods shop opened a couple of towns over. They had a great selection of Italian meats and cheese, wine and locally made desserts. At some point they added a house-made cabinet with a variety of items. One of them was a salad made with farro, a grain I hadn’t encountered before. It was interesting, a little nutty, a bit chewy. They sold the dry grain however I thought $10 for 8 oz. was a bit steep so I never ventured further.

A recent bit of peckishness at the local megamart led me to buy some deli-made farro salad. It was tasty and I decided I’d see if I could find it in dry form at a reasonable price. I did and have come up with a couple of now go-to recipes. They all start with cooked farro, so here’s a recipe for just plain, basic farro.

Basic Farro
Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 1 minute
Total time: 30-45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup whole farro
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Bring 8-10 cups of tap water to a boil; add salt and stir until dissolved. Add farro, return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Begin checking for tender grains; they will likely still have a bit of chew to them at 20 minutes. Check every 5 minutes until they reach the doneness you like.
  3. Drain, shaking off excess liquid. Use immediately as a side (maybe add a splash of extra virgin olive oil) or allow to cool before storing for future use within the week.

Notes:
This recipe uses Bob’s Red Mill farro which, as best I can tell, is a semi-pearled variety. Semi-pearled means some of the bran has been removed prior to packaging. You may also find pearled farro, in which all the bran has been removed. Pearled farro will cook faster than semi-pearled; I think you trade out a bit of flavor (and certainly fiber) in the exchange.

Farro doubles in volume once cooked so this recipe will yield about 3 to 3 1/2 cups of cooked farro.

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Saturday night – 06/25/2016

Our menu this week was one of indecision and progression. Strawberries are at the peak of the season so they demanded an appearance even before we finished cleaning up from our June 18th dinner. Mac and cheese seemed a good plan about mid-week. My husband mentioned the cauliflower salad recently. I was at a loss for another vegetable and main until I sat down to make a grocery list.

Menu
Grilled Italian Sweet Sausages
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Cauliflower Green Olive Salad
Sauteed Baby Bok Choy with Rice Wine Vinegar

Pound Cake with Strawberries and Cardamon Whipped Cream

Notes under the cut

Saturday night – 06/11/2016

If there’s anything I’ve learned in two decades of sharing food with friends it would be that proper prep work makes most things possible. This week I juggled 3 made in the last hour before dinner dishes without much fuss by measuring and prepping ingredients in advance.

This week we celebrated a couple of June birthdays, thus cake.

Menu
Turkey Tacos
Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Tacos
Black Beans and Rice
Various and sundry toppings

Carrot Cake

Notes under the cut