The idea for this recipe came from one of the recipe mailing lists to which I subscribe. I liked the concept of pesto with farro. I changed up the add-ins and served this warm.
Results were mixed. One person felt it didn’t need the pesto, another adored the pesto. Most just gobbled it up. 🙂
Farro with Pesto, Zucchini and Red Bell Pepper
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
- 4 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 cups uncooked pearled farro
- 2 zucchinis (see directions for prep)
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and 1/2″ dice
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 8 oz. prepared basil pesto
- 4 oz. pine nuts, toasted
- 1 oz. fresh basil, thinly sliced
- Bring water to a boil in a 4-quart sauce pan. Add the salt and bay leaves; stir until salt is dissolved. Add the farro and stir. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes.
- While the farro cooks prep the zucchini. Remove the stem end and then cut into quarters lengthwise. Remove the seeds from the center of each quarter and then slice into 1/2″ wedges. Combine with peppers and set aside.
- When farro is ready drain it and transfer to a large bowl. Mix the zucchini and pepper mixture into the farro. Gently fold the pesto and half of the pine nuts into the mix.
- Just before serving garnish with the remaining pine nuts and fresh basil.
Pearled farro will cook faster than the semi-pearled variety, which is what I normally use. My regular brand (Bob’s Red Mill) was out of stock at the local megamart where I normally pick it up. Luckily I found another brand close at hand.
The original recipe that sparked my recipe can be found at campbells.com
I made these for our holiday party this year. I was in search of a vegetable appetizer, something that was a single bit and savory. I found a recipe titled “Gluten Free Cucumber Slices Provençal” which fit the bill.
Cucumber with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
I’m not sure why the title includes the words “gluten free”. It is gluten free however I can’t conceive of a way to make the dish that would include gluten. Anyway, I made a few changes to the recipe so it fit it to my taste.
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Working with premade phyllo shells (sometimes labeled “fillo” in your grocers freezer) you can make some easy and tasty appetizers. I had purchased some locally-made pesto and had a bit of marinara that came with a calzone leftover. I picked up some “pearl” mozzarella balls at the store, along with the phyllo shells, and faster than you can recite Jabberwocky a tasty small bite was created.
Pesto Mozzarella Cups
Servings: 10-15 (figure 2 cups per person)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
- 2 pkgs phyllo cups
- 1/2 cup pesto (store bought, locally bought, whatever you like)
- 30 “pearl” mozzarella balls
- 1/4 cup marinara sauce (again, whatever you like)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove the phyllo shells from the package to the baking sheet. Fill each shell with a scan 1/4 teaspoon of pesto.
- Top the pesto in each cup with a mozzarella ball. Spoon maybe a 1/4 teaspoon of marinara sauce over the mozzarella.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 5 minutes. The shell should pick up a bit of color and the mozzarella should start to melt.
I typically make these in 2 batches, starting the second batch when I notice that the plate holding the first batch is almost empty.