Today on "The Sweetest Thing," I bring you my new favorite grain, which is actually an ancient staple that originated in the Fertile Crescent.
Farro is a delicious, nutty, slightly crunchy grain packed with nutrients. Italian for "ancient wheat grain," farro is actually one of three types of wheat: einkorn, emmer, or spelt. In the United States, emmer wheat is the most commonly sold variety.
If you want to give farro a try, I recommend purchasing the semi-pearled variety, as it will greatly reduce your preparation time. If you're really short on time, Target actually sells a microwave pack of farro that contains two servings and is ready in 90 seconds. It's my go-to for rushed dinner nights.
Farro is delicious on its own, but I really love it with a splash of balsamic vinegar, fresh cracked black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chopped tomatoes, and a bit of grated Parmesan cheese. (See recipe below.) It's amazing hot or cold, and is truly versatile. Like quinoa, this can be used in everything from side salads for a cookout to breakfast dishes with fruit and cinnamon.
When cooked, farro is soft with a lingering crunch and very satisfying nutty flavor. It feels substantial, unlike white pasta, which always leaves me wanting more. Farro is actually very high in protein, with 6 grams per 170-calorie quarter cup. Other health benefits include 5 grams of fiber, vitamin B3, magnesium, zinc, and iron. What a delicious way to boost your dinner!
Have you ever tried farro? How do you like to prepare it? If you're new to the farro game, give this extremely easy recipe a try:
Danielle's Farro Side Salad
1 cup farro
1 tomato, diced
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
Fresh cracked black pepper
Cook farro as directed. Add all ingredients, including spices to taste. Stir well. Serve hot or cold.