Farro is an ancient grain with a chewy texture and a delicious nutty flavor. This recipe comes from Giada de Laurentiis and is a truly Italian dish; simple, colorful ingredients with bold flavor. It comes together in a snap and makes a hearty, healthy side dish. I added the zest of one lemon to the recipe for some extra brightness. I think it could be interesting to add chopped walnuts, as it would mimic the look of the farro and is a frequent element of pesto. Serve as part of an antipasto spread, or as a side dish to grilled chicken.
Farro with Coarse Pesto
Giada de Laurentiis
from Best of the Best Cookbook Recipes
Serves 6 to 8
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 lb farro (about 2 1/2 cups)
2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tblsp fresh thyme leaves
2 garlic cloves
zest of 1 lemon (optional)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tblsp red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Pecorino Romano cheese for garnish
1. Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the farro and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer until the farro is tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the farro and set aside in a large bowl.
2. Meanwhile, in a food processor combine the parsley, basil, thyme, garlic and lemon zest. Pulse until the herbs are coarsely chopped (don’t overwork it). Add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pulse again until the herbs make a coarse mixture.
3. Toss the warm farro with the coarse pesto. Transfer to a serving bowl. Using a vegetable peeler, make about 1/2 cup of cheese shavings from the pecorino wedge. Tip the farro with the shavings and serve.