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Monday, February 9, 2015

Farro Out!

My recipe this week was inspired by the box of farro that has been sitting patiently on my shelf for the past couple of weeks, waiting to be put to good use.  Farro (pronounced FAHR-ro), is a ancient grain that dates back thousands of years.  It is part of the wheat family and has been popular in Italy for centuries, and more recently, gaining popularity in the United States. Despite its bland appearance, farro has a wonderfully nutty flavor and a toothsome texture.  Combine that with the throaty rolling rrrrrrrrrr's of its Italian pronunciation and you truly have something to be passionate about.

As it is the week before Easter Sunday, I had the intention of using my box of farro in a spring salad side dish, perfect for the holiday table. I stuck to my original idea, even though the weather in Atlanta this week was far from spring-like.  I was able to pull this recipe together using ingredients that I had on hand.
Radishes, Parsley, Dill, Lemon, Frozen Peas, Toasted Pecans and Parmesan Cheese for the Farro Salad

If you have not yet had the opportunity to give farro a try yet, I highly recommend this versatile grain.  It is perfect for cold or room temperature salads, as well as served hot as a substitute for rice or quinoa.  I hope you enjoy my version of this light farro salad and enjoy your spring holiday.  Here's to warm weather, lots of sunshine and a plate to be passionate about!

Farro Primavera:
Serves 6-8 as a side dish

1 1/2 cups of pearled farro*
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
5 radishes, very thinly sliced (a vegetable peeler makes quick work of this technique)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup chopped dill
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup shaved parmesan (use the vegetable peeler for this too)
juice and zest of 2 lemons
3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Step One:
Place farro, water and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and continue cooking for 20 minutes, until tender.  Drain any excess water.

Step Two:
Once farro is cooked and drained, place into a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Step Three:
Place salad in serving bowl or platter and garnish with additional cheese, herbs and nuts if desired.

*Pearled farro does not need to be soaked prior to cooking.  If you have regular farro, you will need to soak for at least one hour or up to overnight, drain, and the proceed with cooking as directed above. 

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