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Sweet and Handsome Farro Salad

Sweet and Handsome Farro Salad_ingredients_Yes, more please!

Sweet peppers are what you can find at the markets in Austin, Texas right now. Beautiful varieties, colorful, different shapes and sizes. Perhaps one or two sassy ones among the bunch, but mostly they are fleshy, sweet and flavorful.

For me, grilling these kind of sweet peppers bring the best flavors in them. The sweet mild flesh with the charred pieces of skin are what inspired me to make this salad. We love to grill at this time of the year when it does not feel like you are grilling your self over, September its a better Grilling Time for us.

Sweet and Handsome Farro Salad_Grilling-Sweet-peppers

So what to do with all these chard sweet peppers? I combined them with the most handsome Italian grain of them all: Farro, my favorite grain, because of his nutty flavor,  great bite and texture. This gigolo of a grain has to become part of your pantry. I cook farro the same way I cook pasta, in lots of water and a couple of pinches of salt,  for about 20-25 minutes. Once its cooked, I strain the water, air dry it, and while still warm I add a sensible vinaigrette, of green grassy extra virgin olive oil along with a generous splash of red wine vinegar for a bright flavor. Coriander seeds, garlic, salt and pepper where my flavors of choice for this grilled salad.

Last but not least, I added grilled Sweet Peppers, grilled red onions, some fresh celery for crunch and sprinkled some bulgarian feta to add some salty and creamy texture. It is a great hearthy salad.

Sweet and Handsome Farro Salad_Charred-red-onions

This Sweet and Handsome Farro Salad will flirt with lunch or dinner, the perfect match for roasted or grilled, chicken, pork or lamb. If you are feeling not so carnivorous, put an egg on it. This Farro salad best companion was a glass of red wine, we had a good Tempranillo and some Lamb Loin chops on the side. It was a great end of the Summer welcome Fall dinner.

Enjoy!

Sweet and Handsome Farro Salad_Yes,-more-please

Sweet and Handsome Farro Salad

Serves 4-6 Italian portions

1-1/2 cup dry Farro
18-20 Sweet peppers any kind, any color, mix and match.
1 large red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh celery, include the leaves

For the vinaigrette:

1/2 to 1  teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and coarsley chrushed
1 small garlic clove finely chopped or smashed through a garlic press.
1 teaspoon honey
1 lemon, grilled and juiced.
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste.

In a mason jar place all the vinaigrette ingredients, close jar with the lid on tight and shake-shake shake…then ready to use.

Bulgarian Feta crumbs to top.
Chopped Mint or Texas Marigold (optional)

Preparation Method:

1. On a large pot filled with water, and 2 good pinches of salt, add Farro, bring to a boil and cook for 20-25 minutes. Taste for doneness. Drain water and air dry on a colander.

Sweet and Handsome Farro Salad_Cooked-Farro

2. Grill red onion and sweet peppers. Once the peppers have cool enough to handle them, peel them, remove seeds and cut into stripes.

Sweet and Handsome Farro Salad_Grilled-Sweet-peppers-and-OnionsSweet and Handsome Farro Salad_Chop,-chop,-chop

3. On a large plater or a bowl, combine the cooked farro along with all the vinaigrette, the sweet pepper stripes, grilled onions, celery, mint, salt and pepper. Use your hands, toss well. When ready to serve sprinkle the feta crumbs.

Sweet and Handsome Farro Salad_Grilled-lemon_Yes,-more-pleaseSweet and Handsome Farro Salad_Toss-the-Salad

Sweet-and-Handsome-Farro-Salad_THis-italian-grain-will-win-you-over

Sweet and Handsome Farro Salad_a great simple salad_Yes,-more-please

There is nothing like great ingredients, treated with respect, paired and cooked right and you will have a heck of good dinner!
Enjoy.

Music Pairing: I’m Just a Gigolo- Louis Prima

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Warm Farro Asparagus and Poached Egg

Warm-Farro-Asparagus-and-Poached-egg-ingredients

Have you ever tried farro before? Farro is a handsome Italian whole grain with a great tan color, a nutty and slightly sweet flavor. Farro’s texture is firm with a bit of a chew.  An early variety of hard wheat, farro has been around for more than 10,000 years. It was originally grown in Tuscany, Italy and nowadays you can find great organic farms here in U.S that now cultivate this “ancient” new grain.

Farro has a number of nutritional advantages over other grains. It is a complex carb which makes it far more nutritious than white rice. It is higher in protein than regular durum wheat and higher in fiber in comparison to many other grains. It is rich in Vitamin B complex, A, C, E and rich in Magnesium. Due to it’s low gluten content is easier to digest and to make it even better:  it has a low glycemic index. As you can see Farro is not just a handsome whole grain. Farro is smart and a gentleman too.

I strongly believe that farro should be the new super grain. I would say I prefer farro over quinoa.  There are different varieties of farro and the one I recommend to try first is farro perlato. It cooks in the same way as white rice. 2:1 ratio, 2 cups of water, 1 cup of farro perlato and in 20-25 minutes is perfectly cooked a bit al-dente and each grain separated which it makes it fantastic to sprinkle on salads or as a whole dinner like in this recipe. If you have more time and you are craving more fiber, choose a wholesome farro, soak it overnight and it cooks for about 45-1 hour… (but not my favorite choice, look for perlato!)
For this recipe I cooked the farro with some garlic and tossed it with extra virgin olive oil, lemon salt and smokey hot paprika. To top it off… a poached egg… And that farro dinner was amazing. I know you will love it and I would love to hear some feedback after you have dinner with this Italian grain…This recipe is definitely comforting and effortless.
Warm Farro, asparagus and poach egg… makes a great brunch, lunch or dinner.

FARRO TextureWarm-Farro-Asparagus-and-Poached-egg-asparagus-ribbons-Warm-Farro-asparragus-and-poached-egg--~Yes,-more-please!

Warm Farro Asparagus and Poached Egg

Serves 2 with some left over farro to sprinkle over your next green salad.

1 Cup Farro Perlato (Bluebird Grain Farms, Bob’s Red Mill Natural foods)
2 cups water
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 glug of extra virgin olive oil
½-1 teaspoon Smoked Hot Spanish Paprika. (upon you preference, start with ½ , check on flavor)

8-12 asparagus (the thiner the better, pencil asparagus work great , they are tender and less fibrous)
1 glug of extra virgin olive oil
1 Lemon (the zest and the juice)
Salt and Pepper

2 Eggs room temperature

To garnish:

2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped .
2-3 pinches Smoked Hot Spanish Paprika.

Preparation method:

1. In a medium size pot bring 2 cups of water to boil along with two garlic cloves. Add the Farro and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 20-25 minutes. Or follow directions on package otherwise.
2. Meantime, wash your asparagus, cut the ends, and with a vegetable peeler make thin ribbons. In a medium size bowl toss the asparagus with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil lemon zest and lemon juice.set aside.

Warm-Farro-Asparagus-and-Poached-egg-asparagus-ribbons

3. When Farro is cooked, turn off the heat remove the garlic cloves and Season the Farro by adding a glug of extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, the Smoked Hot Spanish Paprika, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice. Toss and cover with a lid to keep warm.

Warm-Farro-asparragus-and-poached-egg-seasoning-the-farro

How To poach eggs:

It is certain that poached eggs take a bit of patience and timing, but I assure you that eggs meant to be poached. Practice helps, and if you follow this easy method you will be an expert poacher in no time. The reward makes it worth trying.

1.In a small pot bring about 6 cups of water into a simmer. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.
2. Crack one egg at a time onto a small ramekin or a small cup (this with help you to drop the egg into the water more easily)
3. With a Wooden spatula, create a water whirlpool and drop the egg into the center of the whirlpool. This will help to contain the shape of the egg-white into a pillowy egg goodness.
4. Turn down the heat to low
5. Let it swim into the water for about 2-3 minutes if the egg was room temperature. If the egg was in the refrigerator, it might take about 4-5 minutes.
4. With a slotted spoon carefully remove the egg from the water, and place it into a warm ramekin with a bit of tepid water, while you proceed to poach the next egg.Warm-farro-asparagus-and-poached-egg-how-to-poach-and-egg

Note: if you are not trilled about the poaching your eggs,  over easy eggs will work to!
There is no rules in here, this is just pure cooking inspiration!

5. Plate a generous amount of warm farro and top it with the asparagus ribbon salad.
6. Carefully Place the warm poached egg on top.
7. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle some toasted hazelnuts, sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and a pinch of Smoked Hot Spanish Paprika. Enjoy!

Warm-Farro-asparragus-and-poached-egg-toasted-hazelnuts-and-farroWarm-Farro-asparragus-and-poached-egg-toasted-drizzle-olive-oli

If you want to know more about Farro, check this articles:

http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/03/20/jane-says-farro

http://www.bluebirdgrainfarms.com/nutritional-information.html

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