Quick Tomato Farro with Pan Fried Shrimp


Farro has been around for millenia, but for me it has only existed for a few weeks and I grow more and more in love with it every day…mostly because it takes as long to cook as pasta, and is less fussy than rice. Over the weekend, I did a twist on Smitten Kitchen’s One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes. I had most of the ingredients on hand except fresh tomatoes, but canned tomatoes worked in a pinch!

I finally bit the bullet and bought some frozen shrimp from Trader Joe’s and they are surprisingly sizable. I defrost them in some water, pat dry, and then fry them two minutes per side in a little olive oil or butter. 

Tomato Farro with Pan Fried Shrimp

NOTES: If you’re not using pearled (not semi pearled or whole) farro, your cooking time will be longer. However, the quick cook farro from Trader Joe’s only needs to be boiled for ten minutes. Deb of Smitten Kitchen’s original recipe uses pearled farro and she presoaks the farro for 5-10 minutes and cooks it for 30 minutes.

ADAPTED from Smitten Kitchen

1 cup water
1 cup pearled or quick cook farro
1/2 large onion
2 cloves garlic
1 14 oz can of tomtaoes (I used stewed tomatoes)
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt
Up to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Few basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
6 shrimp (optional)

Combine water and farro into a medium pot over low heat. If the tomatoes are in large pieces, you can use a pair of kitchen shears to roughly chop them before adding them to the pot. Cut onion in half again, and very thinly slice it into quarter-moons. Thinly slice garlic cloves as well. Add salt, pepper flakes (to taste) and 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan, and set a timer for 15 minutes. Bring uncovered pan (no lid necessary) up to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a small pan heat a teaspoon of olive oil or butter over medium heat. Add shrimp and cooks for two minutes per side, until flesh is pink and white, and slightly firm.

When the timer rings, the farro should be perfectly cooked (tender but still chewy), seasoned and the cooking water should be almost completely absorbed. If needed, though I’ve never found it necessary, cook it for 5 additional minutes, until farro is more tender.

Plate the farro and top off with basil ribbons and shrimp.


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