My New Favorite Grain

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I am completely hooked on farro.  Farro is an ancient grain dating back 6,000 years with a delicious nutty flavor and a chewy texture like barley.  It contains twice the protein and fiber than modern wheat, and has been found to lower cholesterol and helps maintain blood sugar levels.  One half cup has 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein, in addition to magnesium, zinc, niacin, iron, and 0 grams of saturated fat.  In addition to minerals and vitamins, farro is rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, lignans, and betaine. 

Try my simple, yet decadent recipe pairing farro with cubes of ricotta salata, a dry salted ricotta cheese that has a sharp, almost tangy flavor, and my new favorite cheese!


1 cup farro, rinsed
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cubed ricotta salata
2/3 cup toasted coarsely chopped walnuts
2/3 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
1/3 cup julienne cut moist-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
3/4 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind

Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette:

3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons honey
1 small clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

Garnish: Sprigs of flat leaf parsley or fresh oregano

1. Place farro, water, and salt in a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until liquid evaporates, about 20 minutes.

2. While farro is cooking, place all remaining salad ingredients except dressing in a medium serving bowl. After farro is cooked, spoon into a colander and let cool for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Place warm farro in serving bowl with other ingredients and stir to blend.

3. Combine all dressing ingredients except oregano in a blender or food processor. Transfer to a bowl and stir in fresh oregano. (note: if you use dried oregano, you can just add to the rest of ingredients in blender)

4. Add dressing and stir to coat all ingredients. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.

5 Responses to My New Favorite Grain

  1. March 6, 2012 at 6:15 am #

    I recently discovered farro and love it. Your recipe looks delicious. I think it might be the perfect side dish for the chicken I’m planning to roast tomorrow night.

  2. March 6, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    I hope you like it! Kristina is arriving today and we are having it for dinner.

  3. March 6, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    I’ll let you know. You’ve never steered me wrong with a recipe so far, so I’m pretty sure this will be good.

  4. March 8, 2012 at 6:26 am #

    What a great looking recipe. I have been hooked on farro ever since one of my Italian students presented it to me as a gift along with some fabulous olive oil and risotto. It was such a delicious surprise.

  5. March 8, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    Lisa, what a nice gift to receive. Kristina and I love farro so much that we are developing more recipes to be seen in both of our future blogs. Stay tuned!

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