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 am definitely trying this out! And yes, grains at the ready=excellent idea.

    veena
  • You're the reason I eat so much farro now, Heidi! I think it was your Farro Salad w/Citrus Parmesan Dressing that got me hooked (there was a video w/that post, too). Now I cook with it on my site all the time! I'll definitely be trying this recipe... I'm also drowning in excess farmer's market herbs, so this will be a great way to use them! :)

    Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well
  • Hi, could you use Israeli Couscous, instead of Farro?

    Cathy
  • Perfect! Now I have something to make for dinner. I have every one of the ingredients on hand. Thanks Heidi!

    Cindy S.
  • Heidi, thanks so much for turning me onto Farro.... I love it, and have started buying noodles made of farro as well. Great flavor!

    Lydia
  • Hi, I have been following your blog for a couple of months, but have never commented. So, I just wanted to take a quick moment and say hello. I left the corporate world a few years ago, to stay home with my children. My first goal was to learn to cook (and entertain), really well. I have spent the last three years purchasing cookbooks and really studying food- through these books, magazines, food shows, websites, etc...and of course experimenting with LOTS of recipes. This year, my goal is to take all of what I have learned and develop the confidence to adapt recipes, to create new ones, and to manage my timing, so that cooking remains a passion, and not a chore...and not something that will take so much time that I will not get to enjoy time with my family in the afternoons/evenings. Needless to say, your blog is 'coming to me' at the PERFECT time in my life. Your writing is articulate, precise, unpretentious, and also laid-back, and inspiring. Your combination of your own process in a meal (inspiration all the way to completion) and additional suggestions/ideas are extremely helpful and appreciated. I look forward to trying your recipes!

    Torrie @ a place to share...
  • Anxious to try this! I LOVE farro but it's difficult for me to find locally. I spotted some at my local Fresh Market the other day & snatched up 2 vacuum sealed bags - so excited to have my mitts on some :) glad to hear farro freezes well too - Yay

    Mia
  • When I first saw the top pic, I thought those were whole garlic cloves studding the mix! I'd LOVE that, hehe. I still need to try farro. Does anyone know if it can be sprouted?

    Amber Shea @Almost Vegan
  • Farro and barley are two things I need to try - I like your description of farro as chewy - I might like it then!

    Biz
  • Heidi, as always your recipes and photgraphs look amazing. (just thought i would point out a slight typo- i assume the mozzarella should be torn instead of town)

    JULIE
  • We made something reminiscent last week, with barley couscous and heaps of blanched spring veg -- asparagus, peas, garbanzos. But it was the lemony-creamy dressing and piles of bright herbs that pulled it all together, made it sing. Love farro, but tend to neglect it in summer. This will be a fine way to pull it through the seasons.

    MOLLY
  • This is my favorite kind of meal - and yes I use farro because you introduced me to it last year. It's wonderful but expensive, so usually I go for spelt instead.

    Michelle @ Find Your Balance
  • Farro has been on my list of grains to try sometime soon--great recipe!

    CaSaundra
  • You said that you used homemade creme fraiche for this recipe. How do you make your own?

    Jamie
  • I've discovered a taste for wheatberries, and am sure I would like farro as well. This recipe sounds like a great way to find out!

    Lauren
  • I use farro a lot for breads, and the whole grain also for salads, burgers including vegetables and I love to eat it for breakfast . I was just confused a little bit about the name. In Italy they use the word farro for the whole grain as well as for the flour. But in English it seems that the grains are named farro and the flour spelt. Correct?

    Birgit
  • Hi Heidi I've been on a farro kick for a few months now too–just love it. Have found a difference in product quality though. Whole Foods sells a product in their bulk section that is good $3.99 per pound), but not nearly as chewy and flavorful as what I've found at the Pasta Shop in Rockridge. Unfortunately there's is close to $9 per pound, though on sale this week for around $5, so just bought some. What brand do you use, or where are you finding it? HS: HI Romney, I'm blanking on the brand at the moment, I usually buy XL bags at Rainbow (a couple pounds?). The Massa wheat berries are certainly an alternative - organic, local, and just a couple dollars a pound last time I bought them. I've seen those at both the SF Ferry Building Farmers Mkt, and Marin (Sunday) market.

    Romney Steele
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