I’ve had a bag of farro in my pantry for way longer than I care to admit, and sitting right next to it has been all my good intentions to cook it up. I have no rational explanation for not getting to it sooner, but possibly it just has to do with the doubt that is ever-present the first time you do anything.
But let me just say that if you’ve never cooked with farro before, you must get your hands on some and make it immediately. This is a perfect recipe to start with because it is, of course, quite simple, but it’s also a great vehicle to showcase the deliciousness of this grain.
If you’re not familiar, farro is about as old a grain as is known to mankind, and therefore a staple in many European cultures. It’s an unhybridized wheat berry, and super high in protein, fiber and nutrients. Those of you have cooked with farro before can attest to its nutty, chewy deliciousness.
If you’ve never cooked farro before, nothing could be simpler. Most farro sold in stores today is the perlato variety that’s had the husk removed so that it cooks fairly quickly, as in 20 minutes. You might come across recipes that ask you to soak it overnight first, but that’s unnecessary with the perlato.
OK, enough with the farro seminar. I’m no expert here, but I will tell you that this is one of my new favorite pantry staples. It reminds me of barley, only lots more flavor.
This recipe comes from Gabrielle Corcos of Extra Virgin fame; well, it’s actually his Mother’s recipe, and now it’s one of my favorites. This would make a great summer BBQ salad or side dish (it’s good warm or cold), and it would be perfect to pack for lunch at work. Mostly I just love to eat it by the spoonful right out of the fridge. Here’s the recipe…
Caprese de Farro
Recipe courtesy Gabriele Corcos
1 pound farro
10 ounces organic cherry tomatoes, sliced into quarters
1 (5-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella (packed in water), chopped
1 handful fresh basil leaves, torn
2 ounces pitted kalamata olives
Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, toss in the farro and cook for 20 minutes, drain, and rinse with cold water, then set aside.
Add the tomatoes to a bowl, add the mozzarella, rip the basil leaves with your hands, and add the olives.
Season with a good quality extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper, to taste.
Serve right away or cover and refrigerate. Will keep for several days.
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