Farro & Herbs

Farro & Herbs Recipe

I had a good amount of mozzarella in my refrigerator this week. We grilled pizzas on Memorial Day, and didn't end up using it all. So, I thought I'd share a farro recipe I threw together later in the week. It's made with farro, bocconcini, a bit of homemade creme fraiche, and herbs from last weeks farmers' market - the ones that nearly escaped by hiding behind a row of condiments in the refrigerator. Do you use farro much? I can't get enough of it. I love it's chewy nuttiness and the way it goes with just about everything...I also thought I'd share a couple photos I took on a walk in Golden Gate Park - the last of the plum and cherry blossoms.

Farro & Herbs Recipe

As far as today's recipe goes, this is the sort of thing you can make in no time if you have cooked grains (in this case farro) on hand. I've mentioned it before, but I usually keep some sort of rice, farro, etc. cooked, then frozen, so I can just pop it in a skillet or saucepan whenever I want something like this. But now that I'm looking at the recipe again, you could even crack open a couple of cans of chickpeas and use those in place of the farro here. Either way, it can be a side dish, or you can think of it as more of a main dish - for the latter, I might cook up an egg to top things off.

Farro & Herbs Recipe

I just used what I had at hand here, but I can imagine some peppery arugula, or blanched asparagus, or broccolini being great additions. Or, some oven-roasted tomatoes and red pepper flakes thrown in once we get into tomato season.

Farro & Herbs Recipe

On a separate note, I picked up a few new cookbooks yesterday at Omnivore Books. If you live in the Bay Area and love to cook, it is one of those places you should visit. Celia stocks lots of International titles - British, Australian, Spanish - the good ones that are hard to find unless you're traveling abroad. So, I'm excited to try some recipes from those, and hopefully I'll have some recipes to highlight soon. -h

Farro & Herbs Recipe

If you don't have farro, you can certainly substitute cooked wheat berries, or (pearled) barley here. Also, if you don't have creme fraiche, feel free to substitute a mixture of equal parts sour cream and cream.

2 cups / 13 oz / 370 g uncooked semi-pearled farro
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
5 cups water

1/3 cup creme fraiche (see head note)
2 teaspoons freshly squeeze lemon juice (plus zest)
2 teaspoons good-quality white wine vinegar

2 bunches / 1 oz fresh chives, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
scant teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

more salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

6 oz / 170g (good) mozzarella or bocconcini, cut or torn into chunks

Place the uncooked farro in a saucepan along with the salt and water. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat a bit, then simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the grains are cooked through, but not mushy. You can certainly use whole farro here if you like, you'll just need to cook it longer, more like 50 minutes. You'll likely have some extra liquid in the farro pot, drain the farro, but reserve the cooking liquid. In the end, you'll have about 4 cups of cooked farro. Let it cool a bit, but keep in mind, this is a dish you can serve warm or at room temperature.

In a large bowl combine the cooked farro with the creme fraiche. Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of the (still warm) reserved cooking liquid to thin things out a bit, then stir in the lemon juice, zest, and vinegar. Stir in the herbs and mix well. Taste and salt and pepper to your liking at this point. Lastly add the mozzarella and gently toss one last time before serving warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6-8.

Prep time: 5 minutes - Cook time: 30 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • I've never heard of farro before, but will give it a try. Thanks!

    a slow cooker
  • would it still be 5 cups of water if you replace the farro with chickpeas or wheat berries? No, not if you're using canned beans - just drain them, rinse them, spin dry them in a salad dryer, and use them as you would the cooked farro.

    April
  • This looks like one of those great basic recipes that you can memorize and throw together with whatever you have in the fridge. A perfect no-fuss meal!

    Georgia
  • This would be great as a risotto, with the mozzarella balls folded in just at the end so that they melt slightly. Replace the wine vinegar with white wine and some stock while cooking and simply add in Parmasean at the end. Your concept as a cold salad is perfect this time of year, though.

    molly @ mollys menu
  • I make a good Farro salad that has sauteed swiss chard and chopped green olives with a lemon vinaigrette. It's one of my favorite lunches. Thanks for sharing your version--looks delicious!

    DessertForTwo
  • I've never had farro before! This looks great!

    Katrina
  • I love that bowl! Imagine it was a special find, no? As in, I can't find one near me.

    the French
  • Great idea. I will be looking for farro again now that I have recently moved. One day I will live somewhere that sells it! :) This kind of dish is my usual weeknight dinner: grains and vegetables mixed, with some kind of protein on top. Easy, delicious, and so healthy. Thanks for the continued great ideas.

    sarah
  • If I was to die and come back as a recipe, I would want to be this one! Can't wait to try:)

    the French
  • Meg, you should check out Whole Grains Every Day Every Way by Lorna Sass, she explains the best way to cook every grain and how to do things like freeze them. Heidi, the link to Omnivore Books does not work properly - just fyi :) This looks yummy. There are not enough farro recipes. And this is so versatile - you can literally change whatever you want and it will still be good!!! HS: Thanks for the heads up Monica, it should be fixed now.

    Monica
  • Thanks for the recommended substitution, I was thinking of making this dish wish wheat berries. I looks so comforting with the addition of tangy creme fraiche and fresh mozzarella.

    Christine @ Fresh Local and Best
  • I love farro! I'd like to hear more about how you freeze it. I tend to freeze a lot of things since I live alone, but I've never had good luck freezing grains - the texture always seems off. HS: With farro, I cook it, then let it cool to room temp. before double bagging it, squeezing any air out, then freeze. Works well for wild rice too, wheat berries, and a number of others. Quinoa seems to be the trickiest for me.

    Meg
  • I just had farro for the first time a few weeks ago. We had it with fava beans, asparagus, morel mushrooms, herbs and a bit of parmesan cheese. Love the mozzarell addition!!! Thanks for the book store tip - will have to check it out.

    Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet }
  • Thanks for the tip about crème fraîche. I happen to love it but never find it at the supermarket. I knew it could be substitutued by sour cream but I think the mix of sour cream and cream will be more like it. Thanks for a wonderful farro recipe!

    Nisrine@Dinners & Dreams
  • Thanks for the tip about crème fraîche. I happen to love it but never find it at the supermarket. I knew it could be substitutued by sour cream but I think the mix of sour cream and cream will be more like it. Thanks for a wonderful farro recipe!

    Nisrine@Dinners & Dreams
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