Farro is a grain often used in homemade Italian meals. The yuppies have now caught on and you find the ancient grain (a bumper crop in Byzantium) in just about every health food store. It’s a great grain because it’s got a firm texture no matter how much you over-cook it. I definitely love quinoa and millet as much as the next heath freak but farro has this great firm texture and nutty sweetness that sets it apart. Like quinoa, it’s delicious hot or cold.
Trader Joe’s has a brilliant product called “10 Minute Farro.” I believe it’s parboiled or pasteurized or pulverized or whatever. But it certainly saves you time. Regular farro will need to soak over night and after boiling, needs about 35 minutes of simmering time.
I’ve tried not to use my oven this summer but I just couldn’t bear another day without roasted vegetables. So into the oven went radishes, parsnips and yellow bell peppers and my apartment quickly became a miserable inferno. But it was worth it.
This dish is also delicious the next day and will do well if re-heated in the microwave.
Farro with Roasted Radishes, Peppers and Parsnips
You will need:
1 cup quick-cooking farro (or one up regular farro pre-soaked for 12 hours)
2 cups water
1 yellow bell pepper
1 large parsnip
1/2 small red onion
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon rock salt
salt and pepper
1. Preheat your oven to 400. Peel the parsnip and cut into 1/4 inch thick medallion. Core and seed the pepper and slice into thin strips. Slice the onion into thin rings. Slice the radishes into quarters. Toss all the vegetables on a large baking sheet with the olive oil and sprinkle with rock salt. Bake for 25-35 minutes until crispy.
2. Bring the farro and 2 cups water to a boil in a small pot with a lid. Once it boils, cover the pot, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 12 minutes (35 if using regular farro). Let the cooked farro sit in the pot (uncovered) for 5 minutes, then add salt and pepper and fluff with a fork.
3. Combine the roasted vegetables (scrape some of the oil and salt from the baking tray in as well) and farro in a bowl and add salt and pepper if you want.