/What is farro?
Love farro! It's emmer wheat, an ancient grain originating from the near east. It cooks up similar to a wheat berry, plump, chewy, sweet. Super versatile. Two best farmstead sources for it the USA are:
Bluebird Grain Farms: http://www.bluebirdgrainfarms.com/
Cayuga Pure Organics: http://www.cporganics.com/
That's correct. Also known as spelt. The romans were keen on it. Today it's still sort of a specialty in Umbria towns like Assisi. Some people who are gluten intolerant find it easier to digest farro. It can be ground for flour but a porridge would be tyical.
I just did a huge search on the Farro vs Spelt issue (a little late for this query) and it turns out they are not the same and not interchangeable. Here are some links to check out:
And when you are buying farro, you may find that the choices are pearled, semi-pearled and whole grain. The whole grain is the the healthiest, but it takes the longest to cook, usually twice the time. Also, when cooking farro, the package times are not necessarily correct. For instance, semi-pearled is often done in 15 minutes as opposed to the 30 minutes the package suggests. Taste as you go!
Just a couple of additional thoughts as much has already been mentioned. We had a string on this a while back, maybe on a recipe Merrill posted (?) regarding the difference between spelt and farro. Spelt is pretty similar to farro, but generally grown here in the US, but is rarely found pearled. Farro sold here is often semi-pearled or "perlato," for example, the Rustichella d'Abruzzo brand. If you shop at a co-op and buy bulk spelt it will take quite a while to cook and sometimes should be soaked - like dried beans. One of the nicest things about farro is that it reheats well and can be served cold or at room temperature without getting hard like rice. It maintains a really nice texture.
I love farro. It is super healthy and has more protein than many other grains. make sure you don't cook it too long, or you will lose that perfect al dente bite. Try it in a salad in place of rice. My favorite recipe involves roasted rutabega, toasted hazelnuts, and pecorino romano cheese over a bed of baby arugula. Check out the New York Times dining and wine section if you're interested...
All of the above. Cook a big batch and freeze it.
Thanks! I was showing a friend around the site and she saw a recipe for radishes with farro. Asked me and I realized I didn't know much about what farro is. Showed her the foodpickle feature in action!
She is helping her daughter teach garden to table to elementary school students. They have lots of radishes!! Hope they use the radish contest recipes-- think of it, learning computer skills, gardening, cooking, and eating all at once!!