Farro and Vegetables Salad

Chef Marie

  • 1 cup farro, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 large celery branch, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, diced
  • 2 teaspoons dry Italian herbs
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 3 mushrooms, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, diced
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons hazelnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

    Mix the hazelnut oil, vinegar and basil in a bowl. Season to taste and set aside.

    Follow cooking directions on the package. When cooked, immediately drain and set aside.

    Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the onion and slightly brown. Add the carrot, celery, garlic, Italian herbs and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the prepared farro, vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Cook until liquid is almost evaporated and, if necessary and very lightly, season to taste (I said this, as you will mix in a vinaigrette that is already seasoned, so caution is needed to avoid over-seasoning). Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Slightly cool and then refrigerate. Before serving, add the prepared vinaigrette and serve immediately.
    Comments: You can also eat it warm or cold and with or without the vinaigrette. You may substitute the dry herbs (or reinforce the flavor) with fresh herbs added towards the end of cooking.
    Makes 6 servings

    Per Serving: 153 Cal (63% from Fat, 12% from Protein, 51% from Carb); 4 g Protein; 9 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 3 g Mono Fat; 18 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 4 g Sugar; 52 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 119 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol (Estimation, as the type of Farro and brand may vary in nutrients)

    Farro (Emmer) is an ancient grain and its origin is still debated, though many studies seem to confirm its provenance from the Fertile Crescent Region of Mesopotamia in the Middle East. Archeologists have found it in various digs and burials sites tracing it all the way back to 20,000 years ago. Egyptians valued it and used it to make beer and bread. Ancient Rome used it as currency and fed it to their legions. Overtimes, it became scarce, as higher yield grains took over. Northern Italy still produces it and so are Albania, Czech, France, Marocco, Slovak republics, Spain, and even Switzerland. Its popularity is growing, but is still consider a luxury grain to this day. In the United States, it is often confused with spelt, as it has a similar raw look and texture.
    Farro offers a great nutritional source of protein, fiber, and vitamins. It is considered low in gluten, that said, may not be suitable for people suffering from Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, wheat allergies or sensitivities. Best is to check with your doctor or nutritionist.
    Farro is available whole, semi-pearled, or pearled in the US. Whole farro has only the outer husk removed. Most nutrients are preserves. It takes longer to cook than the other two sources. Semi-pearled has been scored, which allows moisture to reach the center of the grain much faster and therefore allowing it to cook faster. However, some of the nutrients have been lost during the scoring process. Pearled Farro has its bran polished off and most nutrients are removed during such process. I recommend you purchase whole and soak it overnight to reduce the cooking time.
    You can also purchase Farro flour which can be used to make breads, pastas and bakery items.
    Whole Farro has a wonderful nutty flavor. It can be chewy or crunchy, based on the preferred cooking method. You can eat it warm on its own, with other ingredients (pilaf comes to mind), add it to soups, serve it with stews, prepare it for breakfast (mix it cooked with dry fruits, nuts, caramel or vanilla and your favorite milk), and even enjoy it cold in varieties of salads or in puddings.