Have you tried farro before? I’ve recently added this whole grain to our meal plan routine and we love it! Adding more whole grains to your diet is part of the Mediterranean diet, an eating style that is one of the healthiest in the world.
What is Farro?
Farro is an Italian term to describe a group of ancient wheat grains: spelt, emmer, and einkorn. Although all of these grains may be referred to as farro, it often refers to emmer wheat since this is the most commonly found grain in the United States and Europe. It has a chewy and nutty texture similar to barley. Farro can be added to salads, soups, or stews or cooked as a side dish or pilaf instead of rice. You can even try it instead of oatmeal. Note that since farro is a wheat, it is not gluten free.
How to Cook Farro
Farro is cooked very similarly to rice, requiring a 1:2 liquid ratio. Use broth or water, add 1 cup farro to 2 cups liquid in a pot. Bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium-low and leave to simmer for 30 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed and the farro is soft and chewy.
What makes farro so healthy? First, it’s a whole grain, meaning that it is high in fiber. ¼ cup of uncooked farro (around ¾ cup cooked) has 5 grams fiber and 34 grams carbohydrates. It also has 6 grams of protein, making it very similar to quinoa. Farro is a source for vitamin B3, magnesium, zinc, and iron. It is also rich in antioxidants, important compounds that help reduce risk for chronic diseases.
Easy Farro Recipe
This farro lentil salad is one of my go to lunch meals. I make a batch on the weekend and eat it for most of the week. It’s very versatile, meaning that you can use any vegetables you have on hand. I like to use peppers and cucumbers in batch salads because they last long in the fridge and don’t wilt as easily. I added some brown lentils to increase the protein and fiber in this dish. To change up the dressing, I made a maple walnut dressing, which adds a hint of sweetness and nutty taste that compliments the farro very well. I usually pack the dressing on the side and add it to the salad right before eating so that it’s fresh.
Farro Lentil Salad with Maple Walnut Dressing
This farro salad is a great lunch recipe, rich in protein, fiber and fresh flavors.
- 1 cup dried farro
- 1 cup cooked brown lentils
- 1 red pepper diced
- 1 green pepper diced
- 2 small Persian cucumbers diced
- 2 small green onion scallions diced
- 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 8 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup walnuts finely chopped
Cook farro as directed above.
Once the farro has cooled, add the chopped peppers, cucumber, and scallions.
Add the lentils and gently mix, making sure not to overmix so lentils don’t get mushy.
Make the dressing by whisking the vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Add the chopped walnuts.
Pour the dressing onto the salad and gently mix all together. Serve right away or make ahead and serve the next day.
Store extras in an airtight container in the fridge. Use within 3 days for optimal freshness