Versatile grain (though not gluten-free... although considerably lower in gluten than wheat, and partly because it has not been bred over thousands of years, making it more easily digestible by the human body than most other forms of wheat. If you have a relatively mild gluten sensitivity, farro MAY work for you.. consult your doctor before, please!) A few more key components: enjoyed since the ancient times (think Aztec, Incas... not just your "grandpa's grain"), high in fiber, protein and nutrients, non-GMO, nutty, full-flavored and possesses an appealingly chewy texture.
Sounds too good to be true, eh? And then comes the fine print... brilliant food, but they do take a decent amount of time to cook. And by decent, I am grossly understating the cook time. So how does one survive through the cooking period? Before leaving for work in the early morning hours, simply empty a package of farro into a bowl of water in order to soak. When stepping across the "welcome" mat, after the 5 o'clock traffic, drain the water. Place the soaked farro in a pot, cover with chicken/veal or veggis stock (you may also use water) and bring to a boil. As far as the amount of stock... remember the 1:2-1/2 ratio (for example, 1 cup farro to 2-1/2 cups stock). Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and allow to cook between 1 and 1 1/2 hours. In the meantime, enjoy some wine and caramelize a few onions... toss in mushrooms, some thyme and deglaze with the same wine that you are enjoying.
I know, I know... "I love cooking with wine... sometimes I even add it to the food." Props, W. C. Fields. Jolly well quote.
Farrow is finished when the stock/water is absorbed and the texture is similar to rice.
Brilliant as leftovers to throw in a tupperware container and bring to the office.
As far as for dinner? Farro pairs brilliantly with duck breast, mushroom duxelle and a light mushroom cream. Fiddlehead ferns (you'll impress me if you know what those little bad boys are... I'll blog about those soon), roasted carrots and a reduced balsamic elevate the dish from "just an ancient grain" to fine-dining, composed cuisine.
Like I said... it's all in the details. Oh, and the love of cuisine too.
"Patience is the secret to good food." - Gail Simmons
Love y'all dearly!