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5 Ways to Eat Farro for Dinner

Farro is a type of wheat that has been cultivated in Egypt for centuries. Reportedly, ancient Roman soldiers took this grain back to Italy, where it now grows both as a wild plant and a cultivated crop (Clemson University, 2013). Farro is prized for its distinctive nutty flavor and the chewy texture of each individual grain. Plus, its superior nutritional content sets it apart as a healthy whole grain food.

Each half-cup serving of farro contains six grams of dietary fiber and ten grams of protein (Self Nutrition Data, n.d.). When paired with legumes, farro can be considered a complete protein that provides all of the essential amino acids your body needs. A serving of farro also provides a source of calcium, vitamin B3, zinc, magnesium, iron, and antioxidants known as lignans (Clemson University, 2013).

Because of its great flavor and texture, farro makes an excellent addition to any dinner menu. Swap farro for any whole grain, or try these ways to eat farro for dinner:

Herbed Farro Pilaf

The same old rice pilaf recipe can become boring after a while. Inject new life into your pilaf by cooking 1 cup of farro in chicken or vegetable broth. Then, saute a shallot and two cloves of garlic. Add the farro and toss the mixture with a quarter-cup of chopped parsley and a quarter-cup of chopped mint for an herby farro pilaf. Top the mixture with some toasted chopped almonds for an added extra crunch!

Hearty Salad Topped with Farro

Dinner salads need a good source of complex carbohydrates to have the heft you need to stave off hunger pangs later in the evening. As a whole grain, farro is an excellent source of complex carbs. These longer carbohydrate molecules take more time for your body to break down, giving you a sustained source of energy that will last all evening.

For a hearty salad, begin with a bed of chopped spinach. Add diced bell peppers, tomatoes, and avocado. Then, add a half-cup of cooked farro that is still warm. Chickpeas also make a welcome addition if you want more protein. Whisk together a simple vinaigrette with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and one teaspoon of Dijon mustard for a mildly acidic complement to the salad. Crumble blue cheese on top of the salad, or add a sprinkle of sunflower seeds. For another delectable salad that utilizes the pseudograin, be sure to check out the recipe section at the bottom of this page!

One Pot Farro with Tomato and Basil

This one-pot farro dish could not be easier for a weeknight meal. It takes just 30 minutes to come together and doesn’t create a pile of dishes. Simply add 1 cup uncooked farro, 2 cups of water or vegetable broth, a sliced onion (uncooked), two cloves of sliced garlic, 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, and a pinch of salt to a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until the farro is tender. Stir in some sliced basil and grated Parmesan cheese for a fresh, summery meal that is full of beneficial nutrients.

Farro Risotto with Spring Vegetables

Risotto typically relies on short-grained rice such as Arborio rice to get its characteristic texture. Farro grains are similar in size, making it a healthier swap for starchy white rice. For this delicious risotto, begin by sauteing three sliced leeks with some olive oil. Add 1½ cups of farro and cook over medium heat for a minute until just toasted. Then, gradually add chicken broth in half-cup additions until the farro is tender. Add sliced asparagus, 1 cup of shelled peas, and 3 tablespoons of fresh chives, stirring until just cooked. Sprinkle the risotto with grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil for extra flavor. For an alternate variation on this delicious dish, be sure to check out the recipe selection below!

Farro Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a classic Mediterranean dish that contains bulgur wheat, fresh herbs, tomatoes, and cucumber. At its best, tabbouleh is a great way to highlight the freshest tastes of summer. Unfortunately, however, the bulgur wheat has a tendency to become a bit waterlogged by the liquid from fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, meaning that this salad doesn’t keep for long.

The chewy, toothsome texture of farro makes it a perfect addition to a classic tabbouleh recipe. Plus, it is rich in fiber and protein to add some bulk to this salad. Meanwhile, the olive oil provides an excellent source of beneficial monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. To make this farro tabbouleh, simply mix 1 cup of cooked farro, 1 cup of minced scallions, 1 cup of chopped fresh mint, 1 cup of chopped parsley, 1 diced medium cucumber, and 2 cups of halved cherry tomatoes in a bowl. Drizzle the salad with a quarter-cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice and a quarter-cup of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Additional Farro Recipes

The following recipes were formulated by our Registered Dietitian to offer a wholesome meal that makes use of this hearty grain. Try these simple recipes today!

Farro Vegetable Salad

Farro Vegetable Salad Recipe

This delectable salad combines several Mediterranean elements to create a wholesome salad with a full, rich flavor. The recipe includes a seasoning of balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil that perfectly complement the tart feta cheese and tomatoes, while the chewy farro creates the ultimate delight.
Ingredients: Organic farro, sun dried tomatoes, frozen corn (thawed), scallions, black olives, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, salt, fresh dill, fresh mint, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar.
Total Time: 1 hour | Yield: 6 254-gram servings

Farro Veggie Burger

Farro Veggie Burger Recipe

This spectacular vegetarian burger makes use of the chewy texture of the grain to create a delightful bite that you're certain to adore. Serve these patties on a slider bun with a spinach base to enjoy a superb alternative to standard grilled fare and enjoy the brilliant seasoning that makes these patties special!
Ingredients: Farro, corn kernels, baked beans, basil, egg, mayonnaise, tomato paste, paprika, salt, olive oil.
Total Time: 1 hour | Yield: 8-10 medium patties

Farro Risotto with Mushrooms

Farro Risotto with Mushrooms Recipe

A redolent risotto that makes use of this hearty grain, this brilliant variation makes use of herbs, cheese, and mushrooms to create a divine taste that will drive you wild. The protein and fiber of the pseudograin creates a filling dish that is a delight to eat, and the resulting plate also includes an assortment of essential nutrients to further facilitate a healthy diet.
Ingredients: Organic pearled farro, sliced mushrooms, garlic cloves, extra virgin olive oil, frozen peas, salt, fresh basil, parmesan cheese, hot water.
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes | Yield: 6 servings

References

Clemson University (2013). Farro. Retrieved from https://www.clemson.edu/cafls/cuchefs/files/farro.pdf

Self Nutrition Data (n.d.). Farro. Retrieved from http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/custom/3236857/2