One of my first experiences with farro was with a risotto at a local restaurant that was not made with traditional arborio rice but instead with farro. The flavor of the grain was perfect mixed in with the cheese and vegetables while the texture was the perfect amount of chewines. I knew from that moment farro would become a regular staple in my kitchen.

Farro can be a slightly confusing grain as the name has been used to refer to a few different grains, all wheat based.  There is Einkorn (which is the smallest), Emmer/Farro (medium), and Spelt (largest.)  More often than not the bulk bins carry Emmer.  Spelt is often labeled as such and I tend to not substitute spelt for farro as I feel the taste and texture is a bit different.  Farro can also be milled into a very nice whole wheat flour (and can be done at home using a grain mill or a high speed blender.) 

Cooking farro is simple and does not take too long.  I’ve recently fallen in love with using farro in place of arborio rice in risottos. Farro makes a great addition to soups and can even be made in to a breakfast porridge. Just be on the look out, farro is often sold pearled (which cooks a bit quicker) and hulled which takes a bit longer to cook but does have more nutrients than it’s pearled counterpart. I’ll often go out of my way to find the whole farro even though the pearled version is often sold in the bulk bins.

NE Vegetarian Farro Recipes: