I’m not one to eat something just because it has nutritional and health benefits – if it doesn’t taste good, I won’t eat it (unless someone comes up with a food GUARANTEED for instant weight loss or the fountain of youth, in which case all bets are off and I’ll try anything). Ancient grains are very popular these days and it makes sense – most are high in fiber, some have several grams of protein and they’re loaded with all types of vitamins and minerals. My personal favorite of the group is farro which is actually three different wheat varieties – farro piccolo (einkorn), farro grande (spelt) and farro media (emmer), the most common type in Italy. Depending on how much of the bran is removed, which also reduces the amount of fiber, the farro comes pearled (perlato), semi pearled (semi-perlato) and whole grain (grano intero). The whole grain type, which has the most fiber and nutrients, needs to be soaked overnight while the pearled variety has the least amount of fiber but takes the shortest amount of time to cook. Since I’m a middle child, I prefer the semi pearled which takes 20-30 minutes to cook.
Cooked farro is incredibly versatile and you can add whatever suits your fancy. Served hot in the morning, it makes a hearty breakfast with any of the fruits, nuts and seeds you like in oatmeal. For lunch or dinner, you can add anything – vegetables, chicken, meat, fish, cheese, fresh herbs – the sky’s the limit on what you can toss with your farro but make sure to use a high quality extra virgin olive oil. The inspiration for this recipe came from what I found at the farmer’s market, but add, subtract or change anything to make it fit your preference.
Farmer’s markets make my heart beat faster – all that beautiful food just waiting to be taken home and eaten. And now that it’s the start of the season in the Northeast, it’s off to the races! Amongst the beautiful strawberries last week, which never actually made it home, the green leafy kale and bright red radishes stood out as they were so fresh, pure and waiting for me. At home I had a big bag of walnuts, which I love the crunch and taste of toasted, and had just bought a fresh wedge of parmigiano cheese, so both of those went in with the farro. So tell me, what’s in your farro?
I’m not just enthusiastic about travel—I live travel, each and every day. From plotting out my clients’ next great escape, to logging airmiles on my own adventures (I always have a suitcase packed and at the ready!), travel drives me in everything I do.
I’ve learned a few things along the way, and I’d love to share them with you. Learn a bit more about my journey to founding my own travel agency—it involves quite a few glasses of Italian wine!
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