She’d be Farro.
I had never tasted Farro until a friend ordered a Farro Risotto at Bar Jules in San Francisco and little did I know that it would contain no rice. I took a bite of the creamy farro risotto and was instantly besotted. Sadly, it wasn’t until almost a year later that I would attempt to wrangle Farro myself.
The inspiration to purchase and cook farro came from my girlfriend Rebecca. She is a great cook and a master of healthy and tasty. She gave me a little bowl of farro, of which I took about 3 tablespoons home. I woke up the next morning, pulled it out of the fridge and savored the tiny amount of leftover farro salad-eyes closed. It has been a while since I have been so inspired not only by the flavor of an ingredient, but by the texture. There is a toothsomeness to Farro that makes chewing extremely enjoyable, not to mention the lovely mildy nutty flavor that takes residence in your mouth.
I had to make this salad myself!
REBECCA’S FARRO SALAD
1 cup Farro
1/4 Cup crumbled Feta
1/2 Cup little tomatoes – some sliced
3 T Kalamata Olives chopped
3 T dried currants (reconstituted in hot water for a few minutes then drained)
3 T Pine nuts – toasted
1/2 a cucumber peeled, seeds removed and chopped
1/2 cup basil (my addition)
Juice of 1 lemon
3 T olive oil
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
HOW TO MAKE FARRO
1 cup semi-pearled farro
2 cups water (or broth)
Add water, some salt and farro to a sauce pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and steam for 25-30 minutes. Taste after 20 minutes and if farro is done before 30 minutes and there is still water in pot, simply drain like pasta. Allow to cool and add all ingredients. Yum. You may switch up ingredients and replace pine nuts for walnuts, blue cheese for Feta, raisins for currants, cilantro for basil and even add chicken! Go crazy.
Farro is very versatile. I have had it with fava beans, lemon juice and olive oil or as a risotto as I mentioned above. I love it because it is a whole grain and it is a healthy alternative to white rice and takes half the time of brown rice to cook. I purchased a bag of Farro at Whole Foods for almost $6. I have seen it online for upwards of $15. Farro is fairly new to the states, yet pretty readily available. It is a tasty and impressive dish to serve your guests too!