Farro Broccoli Salad2010-09-09
In the past year we have been exploring with a variety of new grains in our cooking. Farro, also known as Emmer wheat, is a new grain we decided to try. Perhaps I should qualify the word new as this is actually an ancestor of today’s wheat; almost prehistoric. This wheat is typically imported from Italy. Whole grain looks like the picture below.
The trick to farro is a fairly long cooking cycle in boiling salty water (there are other methods that involve soaking). Once you are done you will have grains that have basically popped open and have a rich nutty texture. Looks a lot like short grain brown rice, but a distinctively different flavor. They actually reminded me of the breakfast cereal, Sugar Smacks. When I said that to my daughter she did not know what I was talking about. Doing a little research I found out they now call them Honey Smacks. I guess sugar is a bad word. Now to find a recipe for this new found grain. Fine Cooking magazine came to a timely rescue with this farro salad recipe.
We enjoyed the flavors and texture of this new found grain with the roasted broccoli and feta. Our family has been a lover of oven roasted or broiled broccoli for some time. Steamed broccoli just pales in comparison. We served it with barbecued skirt steak that had been resting in an Asian style marinade. Our whole meal was less than 500 calories. Give Farro a try with this recipe or another. We will be looking for more recipes and creating our own.
Roasted Broccoli and Farro Salad with Feta
3/4 cup farro (whole-grain, recommended)
1 lb broccoli
3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta
2 green onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbs coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1-2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
In a 4-quart saucepan, bring 2 quarts of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil the farro in the water until tender, 45 to 60 minutes for whole grain. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 400°F While the farro is cooking remove the broccoli crown from the stem and cut into bitesize florets. Peel and halve the stem lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Toss the broccoli in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place the broccoli on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender and browned in spots, about 20 minutes. (You can use a low heat broiler if you like it a bit more charred)
Mix the the broccoli, feta, onion, red pepper flakes, and parsley into the bowl with the farro. Sprinkle with the vinegar and 1 tsp. salt and toss. Drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and toss. Season to taste with more vinegar and salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes: You can use pearled farro, but you sacrifice the nutritional value of whole grain. Cooking time is reduced to 20 to 30 minutes. This is best eaten the day it is made.
Yield: 5 cups
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Source: Modified from Fine Cooking Magazine
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