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Farro Anyone?

By Michele

I’m new to the farro game and – I’m in! Recently I created multiple recipes using farro and every one was a home run. Farro is the Italian term for “ancient hulled wheat grain.” This ancient grain has become the new-fangled “grain of the day.” Farro is a high-fiber, high-protein, whole-grain wheat, loaded with vitamins and minerals, most notably magnesium, niacin and zinc. It looks similar to barley, though longer in shape, and with a nutty flavor. Like quinoa, farro is a complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids. Its fiber and protein content exceed those of brown rice and barley, yet it is still low in fat. Farro is a great alternative to refined grains and can easily be added to your diet. Try it in a salad, mixed with vegetables, added to soups and stews, or as a stand-in for arborio rice in a risotto. It’s important to remember that there is no way to completely remove gluten from farro. Consequently, it is not a safe food for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Below are a couple of my favorite ways to cook with farro. Hope you try them!

Mushroom Farro Risotto

Serves 2 as an entrée or 4 as a side dish. This recipe delivers chewiness along with flavor that is both creamy and earthy.

Ingredients 1 tablespoon EVOO 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1/3 cup chopped onion ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced ¼ cup white wine 1 cup farro, rinsed in cold water 2 cups chicken stock, or vegetable if you prefer 1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese, and more to serve on the side Preparation 1. In a medium skillet heat oil and butter. Add onion and sauté until soft, then add in parsley

and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes until mushrooms release their liquid. 2. Add in farro and toast for about 3 minutes. 3. Add white wine and deglaze the pan. 4. Slowly add broth, a half cup at a time, stirring continuously until each quantity is absorbed.

This process will take about 25 minutes to complete. Once the farro is tender, and the

liquid evaporated, stir in the cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with extra cheese

on the side.

Greek Farro Salad

Serves 2 as an entrée or 4 as a side dish. This salad will whisk you away to the Mediterranean with its bright fresh flavors.

Ingredients Farro 1 cup farro ¾ teaspoon salt Dressing ¼ cup EVOO 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice 1½ teaspoons dried oregano ½ teaspoon dried marjoram 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 large garlic clove, minced ½ tablespoon honey Salad 1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved ½ medium red onion, chopped to 1/3 cup ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped Garnish ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese Preparation 1. Place one quart of cold water in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil and add in salt and farro.

Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for approximately 30 minutes. Like pasta, check for

desired tenderness. Drain and place on a cookie sheet to cool and dry for approximately 25

minutes. 2. While the farro is drying, prepare the dressing. Place oil, lemon juice, oregano, marjoram,

basil, garlic and honey in a small mixing bowl. Whisk until incorporated. Set aside. 3. Place farro, cucumbers, olives, red onion and parsley in a medium salad bowl. Drizzle in

salad dressing and toss. Top with feta cheese.


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