By Iron Chef Leftovers
Farro, or emmer as it is also known, is an ancient grain that is popular in Italian cooking and is starting to gain acceptance in the US because of its high nutritional value and diabetic friendly properties. I tend to use is as a substitute for rice and I love its nutty flavor and tend to cook it to an al dente consistency to give it some toothiness. It is a simple grain to cook and it is pretty much like cooking rice.
½ cup farro
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the farro and toss in the olive oil until coated. Cook over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Add the stock and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer covered for 30-40 minutes. Check the grain after about 25 minutes – you are looking for a consistency that is slightly chewy, but not crunchy. The farro may be cooked before it absorbs all of the liquid. If it is, drain the liquid and season as needed (a little salt and pepper usually are nice, maybe a couple of teaspoons of nice olive oil). This can be served either hot or cold.
You can replace the stock with water if you want – the stock adds flavor, but isn’t necessary. Use farro in place of brown rice as a side dish or put it cold on a salad for a nice, nutty crunch. It is also really good with some slivered almonds and dried cranberries as a side dish – just add those in once the liquid is drained and toss.