Our Favorite Farro Recipes Will Inspire You to Cook This Versatile Grain
Nutty and chewy, farro plays well with strong ingredients like kale, beets, and salty cheese. This versatile grain also wins as part of a grain salad, a side dish to accompany meaty entrées, and even in the form of a breakfast bowl.
Farro is a type of wheat, but it's also a so-called ancient grain that has gained a modern following thanks to its high nutritional values. Nutty and satisfyingly chewy, farro contains protein and is in high fiber, but also boasts a relatively glycemic index of around 45, placing it much lower than rice (at about 73). Because farro is a wheat species, it does contain gluten. Interestingly, what most Americans call farro is really one name for three different wheats: They are einkorn, Triticum monococcum; emmer Triticum dicoccum, and spelt, Triticum spelta. In the United States, emmer is the most common farro we find in stores. Each type behaves a little differently, although for our purposes—and in this collection of our best farro recipes—they can be used interchangeably.
Farro can also be sold in differently processed forms: as a whole grain (which requires an overnight soak), as semi-pearled, where some of bran has been removed, or pearled, which is bran-free, but cooks quickly. It doesn't help that bags of farro can be labeled rather spartanly: They may just say "farro," but luckily most include cooking instructions. Follow those and your farro will be appropriately cooked.
For the best nutrition, it's best to choose wholegrain farro, since an overnight soak is not very demanding. Pearled farro, which comes to the rescue for meals required in a hurry, is delicious when paired with protein, fresh herbs, and vegetables, all of which will boost its nutritional goodness.
Farro can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Read on to learn more.
Farro Salad with Oven-Roasted Grapes and Autumn Greens
Roasting grapes concentrates their flavor, transforming even seasonless seedless grapes into a compelling ingredient. They are delectable in this farro salad shot through with pungent red onion and vividly pretty mesclun leaves. (Imported Muscat grapes from the Southern Hemisphere are a delicious substitute for the Concord grapes of late fall if you're making this salad late in a Northern winter and spring.)
Baked Farro Risotto with Golden Vegetables and Goat Cheese
In this nutritious riff on a cool-season risotto, the autumnal combination of grated golden beets and butternut squash create a sweet backdrop for farro grains and crunchy pepita seeds, topped with tangy goat cheese.
Roasted Sweet Potato and Farro Salad
Quicker-cooking semi-pearled farro makes this warm supper salad a cinch. Lemon juice and heady garlic balance the sugar of the sweet potatoes, while a handful of fresh greens offers a final, peppery flourish.
Grapefruit and Smoked Trout Cobb Salad
Farro tossed with chopped romaine and the spice of fresh watercress creates a cool bed for a killer combination of flavors in this creative take on the Cobb salad. With smoked trout, mellow avocado, and bittersweet pink grapefruit drizzled with a mustard vinaigrette, it's guaranteed to banish the blues.
Farro Breakfast Bowl with Berries
It doesn't get easier than a breakfast bowl of farro. As good with morning coffee as it is at midnight, all it asks for is a slick of maple syrup with of your favorite milk and berries.
Kale and Farro Salad with Feta
Mint and lemon zest are the bright highlights for creamy French feta in an insanely healthy and hearty salad that combines farro with our favorite leafy green, lacinato (Italian kale).
Farro and Mushroom Soup
Rich with the complexity of mushrooms, fortified with wholegrain farro, and finished with a dash of essential vinegar, this wholesome and nourishing soup is sure to become a favorite.
Grilled Asparagus and Farro Salad
Exploding with the sunny flavors of lemon zest and plenty of fresh dill, this farro and feta salad pairs the softly chewy grains with tender asparagus. Marcona almonds add luxurious crunch.
Grilled Heritage Pork with Plums
A special dinner for friends and family, this entrée combines a succulent loin of pork served sliced upon a platter of farro, along with the best of the season's roasted plums and a piquant salsa verde.
Farro Salad with Fennel and Golden Raisins
In this gorgeous salad, the potassium-rich bitterness of radicchio is tamed by golden raisins, juicy fennel, and the comforting texture of quick-cooking pearled farro.