This is pearled farro, an ancient grain (although not gluten-free) that is not as popular as other grains but deserves the attention for its delicious nutty flavor that tastes like toasted bread that has been caramelized with butter.
This is actually pearled farro, which means that it’s not a whole grain because the bran has been removed. Our friends at Oldways Whole Grains Council recommend looking for the name “whole farro” if looking for the whole grain version. The main difference is that pearled farro takes less time to cook than the whole farro. We know the recommendation to choose more whole-grain foods, but hey, if you select more whole-grain foods than refined grains, then that’s what really matters.
Our friends at Oldways recommend looking for the name “whole farro” if looking for the whole grain version.
I used this brand Poggio del Farro pearled farro. If you can find pearled farro in your local market, it will work. All you need to make this recipe is pearled farro, garlic, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella cheese, sliced onions, lemon, and warm water or broth to cook the farro. Rinse pearled farro and add in a saucepan with a good quantity of olive oil. Don’t be afraid.
Add minced or crushed garlic to sauté the pearled farro in olive oil. Then, add warm water and stir. Let the water absorb and keep adding water at a time until farro is al dente. This method is very similar to risotto, where you add warm broth, stir, stir and stir until risotto is cooked. Oh, I forgot mushrooms, add mushrooms at the end of cooking farro.
This pearled farro looks amazing and it tastes like a toasted rice cracker. Add seasonings such as oregano, parsley, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Keep stirring and let it boil a few seconds at a time. Keep farro moist with water, don’t let it go dry. In other words, don’t go anywhere else, just stay there and enjoy the cooking process. This will take about 20 minutes or more until tender. Once tender, remove from heat and let it cool. Then it’s time to assemble the salad. The rest of the process is super easy. Let me know if you make it and leave a comment below.
This salad is super easy, just need to cook farro for 20 minutes and assemble.
- 8 ounces pearled farro
- 2 tbsp. olive oil, extra virgin, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large tomato, cut into wedges
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup sliced carrots
- Handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 lemon, juice, and zest
In a saucepan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté farro for 2-3 minutes on medium-high with garlic. Heat plenty of water in another saucepan to keep it handy.
Add a cup of warm water or broth to the farro and stir. It will slowly cook by doing this process. Stir as much as you like but let the water get absorbed by the grain. Add more warm water, one cup at a time until pearled farro is al dente. This will take about 20 minutes and about 3 or 4 cups of water to cook. It will be chewy but it should be like fluffy rice. Season with salt and black pepper.
Remove farro from the saucepan and let it rest until cool. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine them with lemon juice, remaining olive oil, basil. Ready to serve.