I make a very popular farro salad for several of my personal chef clients. The cooked farro is tossed with lemon garlic vinaigrette, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley and scallions (pictured here).
One of my clients sent me a text message the night her family was eating this side dish. The text message said, "Oh my goodness! That Farro Salad! I could eat it every day! Amazing! Thank you!"
So, what makes farro so good and different from other grains? I think its popularity is due to its amazing nutty flavor and chewy texture.
I cook it exactly like pasta - fill a pot with salted water (a little less salty than the ocean) and bring it to a boil. Add farro and reduce heat to a simmer until the farro is tender about 20-50 minutes depending on the type of farro you have - whole grain (longest cooking time), pearled, semi-pearled (shortest cooking time). Once the farro is tender, drain well.
One of my personal chef clients orders an heirloom variety of farro from Anson Mills, a farm in South Carolina that grows and mills Carolina Gold Rice and other heirloom grains. The slow roasting process of this particular variety of farro increases the nutty flavor and chewiness. Its taste is truly unmatchable.
For recipes using farro, click here.
For more info on cooking times and the varieties of farro from NPR, click here.