Farro & Herbs

Recipe and image via 101 Cookbooks

If you don’t have farro, you can certainly substitute cooked wheat berries, or (pearled) barley. Also, if you don’t have creme fraiche, feel free to substitute a mixture of equal parts sour cream and cream.

2 cups / 13 oz / 370 g uncooked semi-pearled farro
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
5 cups water
1/3 cup creme fraiche (or 50:50 sour cream:cream)
2 ts freshly squeeze lemon juice (plus zest)
2 ts good-quality white wine vinegar
2 bunches / 1 oz fresh chives, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
scant teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
more salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 oz / 170g (good) mozzarella or bocconcini, cut or torn into chunks

1. Place the uncooked farro in a saucepan along with the salt and water. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat a bit, then simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the grains are cooked through, but not mushy. You can certainly use whole farro here if you like, you’ll just need to cook it longer, more like 50 minutes.
2. You’ll likely have some extra liquid in the farro pot, drain the farro, but reserve the cooking liquid. In the end, you’ll have about 4 cups of cooked farro. Let it cool a bit, but keep in mind, this is a dish you can serve warm or at room temperature.

3. In a large bowl combine the cooked farro with the creme fraiche. Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the (still warm) reserved cooking liquid to thin things out a bit, then stir in the lemon juice, zest, and vinegar.

4. Stir in the herbs and mix well. Taste and salt and pepper to your liking at this point.

5. Lastly add the mozzarella and gently toss one last time before serving warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6-8.

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