Farro is an ancient Italian wheat like grain, which has been cultivated in the Mediterranean for thousands of years and is used in many traditional Italian recipes. It is also considered to be the "mother" of grains from which others have sprouted.
Highly concentrated with fiber, it is very rich in vitamins A, B, C and E, mineral salts and protein. It is also has a very low gluten content for the diet conscious. When Farro cooks, a creamy liquid emerges keeping the grain tender maintaining a lovely chewy bite. If you have ever eaten cooked wheat berries, the texture on the palate is very similar in contrast. This is a very versatile grain and can be used in many different ways.
My Farro and Rice Salad with Sausage recipe can easily be adapted into vegan and vegetarian palates just simply by omitting the sausage. See my chef's notes at the end of the recipe for other ways to use Farro. This is a very simple recipe to make - the only cooking is the Farro, rice and sausage which can all be done at the same time. Enjoy!
4 large sausages, any kind (I used sweet Italian)
2 cups dried Farro, cooked as directed on package
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 cup wild, brown or other fancy rice, cooked as directed
1/4 cup fresh or frozen sweet corn
1/4 cup frozen sweet garden peas
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup scallions (green onions) sliced thin
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
Aged balsamic vinegar, to taste
1. Cook the farro and other rice according to package directions. My rule of thumb is 1 cup of farro to 2 1/2 cups water. I use 2 cups of water because my family like it extra chewy. Lay the rice and farro a cookie sheet or a large container and let cool. Chill in the refrigerator, uncovered, stirring often at first with a fork.
2. While the rice is cooking and/or chilling, cook and brown the sausage in a skillet with a little olive oil or in a 350 degree F. oven until brown on all sides and cooked through. Set these on paper towels to cool down, then chop them into bite sized pieces.
3. In a large bowl combine the rice, sausage, corn, peas, parsley, scallions, salt, pepper and olive oil. Mix well. Add the balsamic vinegar, starting with 1 tbsp. Stir and taste. Although aged balsamic vinegar is sweeter than the regular balsamic vinegar, it is still very strong, so add more if you wish but do it in stages so as not to overpower all of the other ingredients. You can also adjust the seasoning with a little more kosher salt if you wish.
Chef's Notes & Tips
The "Other" Rice:- You can use any other strain of rice along with the Farro in this recipe. I used a red rice which turned a lovely dark color when cooked. So look around your grocery store for some unique gourmet rice versions.
Farro can also be added to soup during the last 15 minutes of cooking for a more hearty texture. Also try adding dried or fresh fruits along with fresh herbs as an alternative.
I love to buy my farro through Amazon.com, as they are amazing for listing great deals giving you more product for less money than the grocery store. I purchased 3 - 17.6 oz. bags for $13.00. Big savings!