Farro – The Other Brown Grain

By Iron Chef Leftovers

Farro, or emmer as it is also known, is an ancient grain that is popular in Italian cooking and is starting to gain acceptance in the US because of its high nutritional value and diabetic friendly properties. I tend to use is as a substitute for rice and I love its nutty flavor and tend to cook it to an al dente consistency to give it some toothiness. It is a simple grain to cook and it is pretty much like cooking rice.

The Software
½ cup farro
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt

The Recipe
In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the farro and toss in the olive oil until coated. Cook over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Add the stock and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer covered for 30-40 minutes. Check the grain after about 25 minutes – you are looking for a consistency that is slightly chewy, but not crunchy. The farro may be cooked before it absorbs all of the liquid. If it is, drain the liquid and season as needed (a little salt and pepper usually are nice, maybe a couple of teaspoons of nice olive oil). This can be served either hot or cold.

Notes
You can replace the stock with water if you want – the stock adds flavor, but isn’t necessary. Use farro in place of brown rice as a side dish or put it cold on a salad for a nice, nutty crunch. It is also really good with some slivered almonds and dried cranberries as a side dish – just add those in once the liquid is drained and toss.

4 comments to Farro – The Other Brown Grain

  • What sort of availability are we talking, here? Upscale uber-grocery only? Safeway/Albertson’s?

  • Iron Chef Leftovers

    I know that Central Market carries it in their bulk foods section and I know Trader Joe’s has carried it in the past(not sure if they still do). I would think that any of the other big supermarkets would have it in either their bulk foods section if they have one, the organic section or the ethnic foods section. I so rarely shop at the Safeway type places, I am not sure what they might have. I do know that the Ballard Fred Meyer carries it, so I would think that any of the other stores could get it.

  • A.J. Coltrane

    I thought the Ballard Fred Meyer was currently a hole in the ground(?)

  • Iron Chef Leftovers

    You are thinking of the Greenwood Fred Meyer. It is also no longer a hole in the ground, more like a concrete bunker these days.

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