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Vegetarian Recipes

How to Cook Farro

https://www.loveandlemons.com/farro/

Learn how to cook farro with this step-by-step guide! Plus, find my favorite farro recipes, along with more serving suggestions for this delicious grain. Do you have a favorite whole grain? I love everything from millet to quinoa, but if I had to choose one, I think it would be farro. It’s hearty and wholesome, with an amazing chewy texture and nutty flavor. I enjoy it all year long, but it really becomes one of my kitchen staples in the fall. Its toasty flavor is delicious with fall produce like squash, apples, and kale, and cozy herbs like sage, rosemary, and thyme are its natural companions.

If you’ve never tried it before, now is the perfect time – toss it into salads, add it to bowls, or stir it into your next autumn soup!


Farro


How to Cook Farro

My cooking method for farro is a lot like cooking pasta. Some farro recipes swear by using a specific number of cups of water for every cup of the grain, but I find I get the best results when I simply boil water, add the grain, and cook until it’s tender! Here’s my easy, tried-and-true method for how to cook farro:

First, rinse the dried farro. Add it to a fine mesh sieve and rinse it with cold water.

Then, it’s time to cook! Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over your stove top, and add the rinsed grains. Cook until they become tender and chewy but still have an al dente bite. The cook time will vary depending on the age and variety of your farro. (Find more on that below!)

Next, drain the grains and transfer them to a baking sheet or large plate. Spread them into a single layer to cool and dry for 20 minutes or so. Skipping this step means that your grains will continue to steam, which can make them mushy.

When your farro is cool, transfer it to the fridge for future use, or enjoy it right away!

Farro Tips

  • Know what kind of farro you have. Grocery stores typically sell 3 types of farro: pearled, semi-pearled, and whole. The cooking times for each vary widely, ranging from 15 minutes for pearled to 40 minutes for whole. When you buy your farro, make sure you know what kind you have – you don’t want it to come out too hard or too mushy! If you don’t know what type you have – start tasting it for doneness at 15 the minute mark and go from there.
  • Batch cook and freeze. Having a stash of cooked grains on hand is a lifesaver when it comes to meal prepping lunch or whipping up a quick dinner. Cooked farro keeps in the fridge for 5 days, but you can freeze it for even longer. To freeze it, spread the grains in a single layer on a baking sheet, and transfer it to the freezer for at least 2 hours. After the grains are frozen, you can store them in a freezer-safe container. Don’t skip the initial freeze on the baking sheet, or the grains will freeze in one big clump!
  • Dress right before serving. I love to toss my farro with anything from a lemon vinaigrette (see the recipe below) to cilantro lime dressing. If you plan to dress yours, do it right before serving, as the flavor of dressed grains fades in the fridge. But if you end up with leftovers, not to worry! Just give them an extra squeeze of lemon or lime and a sprinkle of salt and pepper before serving.



Favorite Farro Recipes

You’ll find my go-to way to serve farro in the recipe below: I like to toss it with a zingy lemon dressing and plenty of fresh herbs (Feel free to add crumbled feta or goat cheese, dried cranberries or tart cherries, or your favorite nuts for a fun twist!). Once it’s dressed, I serve it as a side dish with grilled or roasted veggies or a hearty salad – it’s excellent with this kale salad in the fall and winter and with my Greek or broccoli salad in the spring and summer.

If I’m not serving it as a side dish, I like to add it to bowls and salads. Top plain or herbed farro with your favorite roasted veggies (maybe butternut squash, cauliflower, or tomatoes?), a protein like roasted chickpeas, and a delicious sauce like tahini sauce, tzatziki, or hummus to make an easy, healthy meal. You could also toss it onto any salad or stir it into a brothy vegetable soup.

 

How to Cook Farro + Herbed Farro Recipe

Author: Jeanine Donofrio

Recipe type: side dish

  • 1 cup uncooked farro, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice, more to taste
  • ½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
  1. Fill a medium pot half full of water and bring to a boil. Add the farro, reduce the heat and simmer until the farro is tender, chewy, but still has an al dente bite – 15 to 20 minutes for pearled farro; 20 to 30 minutes for semi-pearled farro; up to 40 minutes for whole farro.
  2. Drain, then spread onto a large plate or sheet pan to cool and dry for 20 minutes. This keeps it from continuing to steam which makes it mushy.
  3. Make the lemon herb dressing by mixing the olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Add the farro and toss. Stir in the parsley and red pepper flakes, if using. Season to taste and serve.
Store cooked farro in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can store the dressed herbed farro in the fridge as well, but I find that it soaks up/loses its bright flavor after a few hours. I recommend dressing the farro as you’re ready to serve, or brightening it up with a squeeze of lemon and more salt and pepper, to taste.To freeze farro, first freeze it on a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag or container. This keeps the grains from sticking together too much as they freeze.

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Vegetarian Recipes

CAULIFLOWER BOLOGNESE

“I want you to come watch the movie with us ON the couch, not be in the kitchen!”

I’ve been filling out this one-question-a-day journals for moms that I received for Christmas. It records a little thought or memory over the last year, and then starts again, so you can see how your answers change over a few years. One of the recent ones, prompted me to jot notes about what I am learning as a mom, and I found the question so general I was basically annoyed. I am a romantic, and also wildly pragmatic. In the span of a day I can tear up over the depths of love I feel for my kids, and also wish for them to have a mute button. We all have worlds within us; mothering pushing me into the corners of myself I am sometimes proud of or other corners ashamed of, but am I learning? Yes, every single day. Sometimes in the moment and other times after a particular season. But in 2021, my answer in the bullet journal was that I see my kids are wanting me to play with them. They aren’t registering all the service and shuttling and laundry and what it takes to pull off a week, they just want to play WITH me. It’s natural for me to move within lists and tasks and responsibilities and hustling, but playing is something I have to pay attention to. For them and for me. We usually do a family movie on Friday nights and my son (6.5), see quote above, pointed out that I don’t actually watch the movie, I tinker in the kitchen and he wants me in the couch cuddle. Flattered, and found out that I’d rather make granola than watch The Croods 🙂 So from annoyed, to passing on the question to fellow parents, what are you learning? Try not to be annoyed. Maybe circle back to it.

I published this recipe over on SKCC a few weeks ago and wanted it to live here. We’re trying to find more family-friendly vegetarian recipes (it’s easy for me to fill up on roasted veggies and big salads, not so much for the kids). This batch lasts us two meals – once with noodles, maybe half zoodles, and the second round on toast or english muffins with cheese melted on top, like a pizza sort of thing? It freezes well and is great to deliver to new parents.

CAULIFLOWER BOLOGNESE

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion – roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic
sea salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 head of cauliflower (about ¾ lb. or 12 oz. riced)
1/2 cup of raw walnuts pieces
1/2 tsp. of Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. of fennel seeds – crushed
2 Tbsp. of tomato paste
2 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of red wine (or broth of any sort, and double the vinegar to mimic the wine’s acidity)
28 oz. of canned, crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup of red lentils
red pepper flake to taste

For serving

12 oz. of pasta or choice, zoodles, etc.
parmesan
fresh, torn basil

Directions

In a large Dutch-oven or stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium low heat.

In a food processor, pulse the onion and garlic into smaller bits. Add them to the pot with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté to soften, about 3 minutes.

Pulse up the cauliflower florets to get a rice-like texture. Add the riced-cauliflower to the pot and sauté to soften, about 5 minutes.

Pulse the walnuts in the processor and add those to the pot along with the Italian seasoning, fennel seed, another few generous pinches of salt and pepper, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Sauté until fragrant.

Add the red wine, cook about 3 minutes, then add the crushed tomatoes, ½ cup water, lentils, pinch of pepper flakes and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low, put the cover ajar and let it simmer gently for 30-35 minutes. Turn off the heat, taste for seasoning and adjust.

Cook your pasta or zoodles according to instructions. Top with cauli Bolognese, grated cheese, fresh basil and enjoy!

The Bolognese will keep in the fridge for a week and can be frozen for a few months.

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