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May 27, 2009 11:51 AM

Great Farro ideas?

I haven't ever cooked farro before, but I picked some up at an Italian grocery while out of town last weekend. At over 7 dollars for just over a pound, I want to have some solid ideas to try that highlight the grain. What are your favorites? Also did I pay way to much? This seems outrageous for a whole grain, compared to barley, rice, quinoa etc. TIA for suggestions!

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  1. I was just thinking of farro! I went to a restaurant in boston sunday night and had roasted sole that was served on a farro edamame mixture that was really wonderful, it had a great nutty taste. I have also had farro risotto.

    1. Farro is very versatile. You also might see it called Emmer. Think of it like pasta. You can have it hot, cold, in a salad, in soup, with beans, meat, side dish, main dish, etc. It does take a while to cook; 30 minutes +. Check the package for cooking time. Do you make soup? That would be an easy way to work with it at first. Just throw it in the pot as it simmers in place of pasta or rice.

      I like to mix it with rice (cooked separately) and serve as a salad with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, green onion and with a vinaigrette dressing made with 3 parts olive oil, 1 part sherry vinegar, salt and pepper.

      The price you paid is good. Perhaps from a local grower? It can sell for a few dollars more.

      3 Replies
      1. re: EvZE

        There's a wonderful farro "risotto" recipe in a book we cooked from several months ago, The Flexitarian Table. I'm sure there are reports on it in the Cookbook of the Month thread for that book.

        1. re: EvZE

          Not a good price, but a typical price. I've never seen US grown farro, though there probably is some out there. It's mainly imported from Italy, so the price is high. As for dishes, most pilaf recipes will work well with farro.

          1. re: Zeldog

            I just found a source for US-grown farro on-line, with a much better price than the $8 per pound I had been paying. Bluebird Grain Farms in WA.

          1. Make farrotto with it. Just sub it in your favorite risotto recipe.

            1. How does farro compare with wheat berries?

              Whole wheat sells for less than $2/lb, and takes several hours to cook.

              3 Replies
              1. re: paulj

                It is similar to wheat berries but does not have the bite that some love about wheat berries and some do not. I love them both. Farro works great in any risotto recipe, just replace it for the rice. And I love it as a salad... any kind of rice salad you like (or barley salad or wheat berry salad) just do the same, replace it.

                1. re: Tom P

                  Yes, farro costs 3 or 4 times more than wheat berries, so in terms of dollars per calorie, wheat berries win. But retail farro is "semi-pearled" meaning the husk is mostly but not fully milled away, which is another reason why it costs more than wheat berries. Semi-pearled farro takes less time to cook compared to whole wheat berries but it still retains a nutty flavor. Also, farro has a lower gluten content than wheat, which gives it a really nice tooth feel. For me, it's a bit like wild rice, but better. Whether it is 3x better than wheat berries or barley or something else is a matter of taste and pocketbook.

                  1. re: Zeldog

                    I just finished a tasty farro "risotto" with sugar snap peas and asparagus. While vary tasty I think I would have enjoyed barley almost as much. It has a nice flavor and a texture between barley and wheat berries. I don't regret trying it, and I would order an entree with it at a restaurant, but I don't think my budget allows this on a regular basis (ditto wild rice).