Farro Pesto salad

Isn’t it great when something so simple is so good?

Perhaps I feel this way because I never ate farro until recently.  Living in Mexico means I’m not sure what is commonly used in the rest of North America.  Meaning, when I tried farro for the first time this summer in Italy, I just presumed that I had never tried it before because of where I live.

I find out that farro is around but not on everybody’s dinner tables.  It should be.  Hopefully it will become a little easier to access as time goes on.  As I write, my friend in Alberta is searching for it for me in her grocery stores.  Comon Alberta!

Farro is an ancient grain that is very popular in Mediterranean, Ethiopian, and Middle Eastern cuisine.  It is high in fiber and has a hearty, nutty taste.  It is an excellent source of protein, fiber and nutrients like magnesium and iron, meaning it’s a much better choice than white rice or other refined grains.  As wheat, it does contain gluten, however, the levels are low enough that it has been said that it is easier for some people who normally experience symptoms of gluten intolerance to digest.  It is a good source of protein, having higher amounts than even quinoa….. and the benefits go on.

This wasn’t meant to be a blog on the benefits of farro, but considering that I love the taste of it so much, it’s a bonus that it’s good for you, fills you up faster than other grains, and keeps you full longer.

When I was in Italy this past summer, our hostess made this salad as a side for lunch.  My entire family may have had three helpings each.  We inquired as to what it was, and I was determined to buy it from now on at home.

Until I got home and couldn’t find it.  Actually that’s a lie: I found one medium sized bag ….. for $25.  Kind of out of my price range for a grain.  So as I always do, I start petitioning friends who go home to bring me a bag or two, or ten.

When I inquired if I could post the recipe for the salad she laughed and said it was a jar of pesto and sun-dried tomatoes tossed with the farro.  No matter, sometimes the simplest things are the best, and since it woke up my taste buds, I had to share with others in case it may do the same.

It really is simple, and you may like more or less pesto.  If you don’t have a simple basil pesto recipe, use my  Fennel Fronts Pesto  recipe and substitute 2 cups fresh basil leaves.  (I need to work on a new picture for that, yikes) .

The first time I tried this recipe at home I used my own, but when I ran out, I used a jar.  Still good.   I also used sun-dried tomatoes in oil, but my friend in Italy did not.  Mix it up, do what you like, it’s one of those recipes that you can fiddle with and make exactly as you prefer.

And yes, I’m still on my Italy kick.  Sorry.  I don’t think I’ll ever get out of it. I blame you, Italy.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups farro
  • 1 cup (more or less to your liking) pesto
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Cook farro according to package.  (Farro takes a little longer than rice, mine took almost 40 minutes).  Let cool.  (I spread mine out on a flat sheet pan to help this process).  Transfer farro to bowl when cooled to room temperature.  Add pesto and sun-dried tomatoes and combine well.  Add a little olive oil if you like, or the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes in oil, if that is what you’re using.  Season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy at room temperature or cold.

*My husband added feta to the leftovers, which I did not object to.

Serves 4.

 

 

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One thought on “Farro Pesto salad

  1. Yummy and healthy – what more could you want! This month I added my own sun dried tomatoes to the recipe. We sliced our own cherry tomatoes, put them in the blistering sun for 3 days and voila – sun dried cherry tomatoes. They add a touch of sweet to the pesto and farro. For more recipes … see you soon!

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