Have you tried farro yet?
Farro is fiber-rich complex carbohydrate — a whole grain with noteworthy mineral content (in particular, minerals magnesium, iron, zinc, each critical to emotional balance and strengthening the body’s anti-stress response), as well as a lovely dose of mood and energy-boosting B-vitamins. Nutrition facts aside, farro makes a delicious, satisfying center piece for just about any meal.
Farro is my go-to starch for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As a grain that can be traced back to the Fertile Crescent, its no wonder that it pairs well with Mediterranean, North African, and Middle Eastern flavor profiles. It’s an excellent choice for provincial-type meals, when flavor is not about added salt, but instead derived from a layering of vegetables, aromatics and rich, quality fats. It cooks in about 25 minutes, which isn’t bad for a whole grain. And its a sturdy one, that can be plopped into soups or stews without losing its texture, and holds up well after a few days in cold storage.
Today I’m sharing some breakfast farro magic — a template recipe — that doubles as a go-to dinner side dish. If you have twenty minutes to spend on the nearly meditative practice of dicing vegetables and tearing herb leaf from stem, this recipe is also great for clearing the mind after a long day.
Seasonal Farro Salad
Makes 6 1/2-cup servings.
- 1 cup farro, uncooked
- 4 cups water or broth
- 1 cup of diced onion (can also use leek or shallot)
- 4-5 cups of diced seasonal vegetables
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 cup of chopped herbs, such as parsley or cilantro
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium pot, add farro and 2-1/2 cups water or broth. Cook according to directions.
- While farro is cooking, warm remaining cup of water or broth in a skillet on medium heat. Dice onions and add to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 5-6 minutes.
- While onions are cooking, prep remaining vegetables. Add vegetables to the skillet as they are chopped. If liquid has evaporated, use an additional 1/2 cup liquid. Cook until vegetables are at desired tenderness, or about 5-10 minutes.
- When the remaining liquid has cooked off, add olive oil and minced garlic. Stir, cooking until garlic is fragrant, then remove skillet from heat. Set aside.
- Once farro is done cooking, drain any excess water and spoon into a large bowl. Mix in vegetables and chopped herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Enjoy farro salad warm or cold. For a savory breakfast, top farro with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, a pinch of sea salt, lemon or lime juice, a splash of extra virgin olive oil.
Pro-Tip: Try adding beans, crumbled cheese, dried fruit, nuts, or seeds. If you have leftover roasted vegetables, you can use those instead of prepping something new.
Vegetable Combo Ideas:
1 cup chopped asparagus + 3 cups baby spinach + 1 cup peas
(RAW) 2 cups diced radishes + 1 cup diced carrots + 1 cup diced, seeded cucumber
2 cups diced zucchini + 2 cups diced eggplant + 1 cup diced red pepper
1 cup diced red pepper + 1 cup corn kernels + 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
3 cups sliced Brussel sprouts + 2 cups diced mushrooms
4 cups chopped kale + 1 cup diced sweet potato
2 cups diced beets + 3 cups chopped Swiss chard
2 cups chopped cauliflower + 3 cups chopped broccoli