This farrotto—farro cooked in the style of risotto—from Sean Brock's new cookbook, Heritage, is the perfect foil to the artfully composed, modernist plates that make up most of the book: it's a warming, rustic potful of fall flavors.
'Farro' on Serious Eats
In this simple recipe, farro is simmered with onion, garlic and carrot to impart flavor. Then, it's combined with a host of fresh ingredients: juicy tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs, all of which are tied together with red wine vinaigrette, pine nuts and crumbled blue cheese.
This warm one-pot farro salad is loaded with tender spring peas and asparagus, along with heartier ingredients like kale and crunchy almonds. Tossed with a tangy lemon-mustard vinaigrette and briny feta cheese, it's a healthy dish that celebrates of the transition from winter to spring.
This recipe is not what you think it is. I know it looks like a haphazard affair of roasted vegetables tossed on top of farro, but there is more going on here.
Farro has a slightly nutty taste and a tender al dente texture that makes it ideal for salads.
Sitting overnight gives the orange flavors time to permeate the dish, offset by salty, fatty prosciutto, bitter raddichio and balsamic. Farro is more than an afterthought here; every nutty grain absorbs bitter, tart and sweet flavors.
There is something so satisfying about a farro salad, especially when it's a complete meal. All you have to do is toss some in a big bowl, grab a fork, and dig in.
Lidia Bastianich doesn't traffic in trends, so I knew that this recipe in Lidia's Italy wasn't just thrown in to capitalize on farro's recent surge in healthy appeal. As she writes in the caption, it actually came from a restaurant called Le Lampare in Trani, Italy. The tuna, caper, and tomato sauce would probably go well with about any pasta shape (I certainly wouldn't mind it), but seems to really come alive when paired with the farro.
With flecks of thyme and a touch of tangy sour cream, this farro mushroom hash would be great on its own, but finishing it off with perfectly poached eggs puts it over the top. It's a winner.
Nutty, chewy, and good for you to boot, farro is a great grain. It can be slowly simmered and stirred in place of rice for risotto, tossed with veggies and chilled as a salad, or fried into crisp little patties for these Farro and Mushroom Burgers.
This hearty salad combines nutty farro and creamy white beans in a bright lemon vinaigrette.
The combination of almonds, sweet dried cranberries, and apples is never bad, and the addition of smoked mozzarella adds another layer of flavor. The farro cooks up plump and distinct, making each bite filling. The wine-roasted garlic is easily the most complicated part of this very simple recipe.
Something magical happens when you put dry kale in the oven. As the moisture leaves the tough raw kale, the leaves are transformed into dark green potato chip-crisp bites. Health food aficionados call them kale chips and virtuously sub them in for starchier snacks. Heidi Swanson, author of Super Natural Every Day, takes kale chips a step further by using them as a base for a grain salad.
Simple meals that feel elegant are just what Sunday evenings in the summer call for—and this grain salad with grilled lobster is just that. Although this dish is equally successful using a grill pan or an actual grill, it's far more festive to sear these tails outdoors. If you've never cooked farro before, it's a whole grain that to me feels somewhere between brown rice and barley, and it's delicious served room temperature in this salad.
I was so happy when I found a lovely bunch of rapini (AKA broccoli rabe) at the market, that I purchased it without even thinking about how to use it. Of course, there are all the usual suspects: with pasta and Italian sausage, or with mozzarella and red peppers. But I needed a new way to use the famously bitter green.
Minestrone is a perfect expression of all kinds of exciting new vegetables coming into season. April is certainly here, but the fact is we're not quite there yet with the produce (at least here in Chicago) where you can simmer fresh vegetables with some water and call it dinner (my favorite variation is with some pesto stirred in). That's why this recipe caught my eye: It's rich and satisfying thanks to root vegetables, but bright and leafy thanks to the canned tomatoes and a winter staple like kale.
This recipe with white beans is probably my favorite farro salad yet. The creamy beans play a huge role in that, along with the sweet tender leeks and fresh parsley. But it's the chunks of salty, citrusy preserved lemon, a condiment often used in Moroccan cooking, that really takes this salad to the next level.
Nothing beats the deep flavor of caramelization the oven provides. That was the only inspiration for this recipe—that and a bag of farro in the pantry, the nutty grain that's as healthy as brown rice but cooks in half the time (while tasting twice as good). I was surprised at how delicious it all came out, the way simple in-season food often does.
Farro doubles in volume when cooked, so that small bag goes much farther than you think it will. Be sure you buy farro perlato—this means the chewy outside hull was removed and the farro will cook to a much softer...