Healthy Ingredient of the Week – Farro

I love whole grains, and I am always looking to expand my dinnertime side dish options outside of whole wheat bread, brown rice, or whole wheat cous cous.  A few weeks ago, I was in Trader Joe’s and noticed that they had small bags of several grains I’ve never tried before.  I figured I might as well try something new, and picked up a bag of farro, since it looked like the most interesting choice.  Besides being interesting-looking (dried farro looks a lot like the very unhealthy Smacks cereal), farro also has a long history, as it’s the oldest grain known to man, the one from which all others are derived.  Since farro has been around so long, there are an abundance of recipes that use it, although I am happy just simmering it and eating it plain.  However you prepare it, farro is an excellent source of fiber (a ½ cup serving contains 5g!) and a good source of iron.  Challenge yourself to try farro, or another new whole grain, tonight!

Tomato and Farro Salad

1 cup 10-minute farro
1 medium shallot, chopped
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

1.  Place farro in a medium saucepan; add enough water to cover by 2 inches.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until tender.  Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
2.  Cook shallot in a non-stick skillet, stirring, for 1 minute.  Stir in vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Remove from heat.
3.  Add to the bowl of farro tomatoes, basil, and the warm shallot vinaigrette.  Gently stir to combine.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Serves 6.

Adapted from EatingWell magazine, June 2013.


One response

  1. […] diet, I stumbled upon an article about amaranth (also known as ‘baby quinoa’). Amaranth, like farro, is an ancient grain, is naturally gluten-free, and is extremely nutrient-dense.  Like quinoa, […]

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