Farro with Red Beets and Goat Cheese

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A few weekends ago, I went to a picnic and was bedazzled by cold salads. There was a mozzarella and tomato salad with shiso and basil, and a bright pink farro salad with beets and seasoned with fennel and lavender. I don’t even like raw tomatoes, but I found myself filling my plate over and over again. As you well know, my mainstay is carbs and sauce with an occasional juice or smoothie, so bright green things were a huge and welcome contrast.

picnic spread

I was determined to recreate the farro salad, and bought some 10 minute pre-cooked farro from Trader Joe’s. I tried buying pearled farro from my local supermarket, but they were sold out…TWICE! I boiled the farro for about ten minutes, chewing on a piece occasionally. I drained it and immediately hit it with salt and lemon juice and goat cheese. I was told that I needed to add all three immediately to coat the still warm farro. Next I added 2 small roasted beets, a teaspoon of chives, more goat cheese, some red wine vinegar, and it was done!

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What is Farro?

Farro is a food composed of the grains of certain wheat species, that means it is not gluten-free, but it is considerably lower in gluten than wheat and is more easily digestible by the human body than most other forms of wheat.
According to Wikipedia, Farro refers to a group of three wheat species: spelt (triticum spelta), emmer (triticum dicoccum), and einkorn (triticum monococcum) which are types of hulled wheat (wheat which cannot be threshed). The three species are sometimes known as farro piccolo, farro medio, and farro grande, which are einkorn, emmer, and spelt, respectively.

When buying farro, looked for pearled farro or farro perlato. “Pearled” grains are polished to remove most of the outer bran making them more tender. If you get whole farro, you might be stuck soaking it overnight.

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It was delicious, but I think I’m going to jigger with the rations before I post an actual recipe. But I found this New York Times recipe very intriguing.

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