The key ingredient in this dish is an ancient grain called farro. Farro was used for thousands of years in North Africa and the Middle East; it is believed to have sustained the Roman legions, and was a staple food across the Roman Empire. While farro is not yet a commonly used ingredient in North America, it is becoming increasingly popular. Farro is similar to brown rice in its consistency and flavor, offering a complex and nutty flavor that compliments many dishes. The ancient grain (believed to be the first whole grain ever) is packed with fiber, magnesium, and vitamins A, B, C, and E; therefore, it’s a nutritious and easy alternative to pasta and rice dishes.
Today, farro continues to gain notoriety around the world for its nutritional benefits and its wide variety of uses. This recipe uses sundried tomatoes and green olives which adds a salty and tangy deliciousness to the dish. This salad is equally as delicious served either hot or cold.
1 1/2 cups of faro, dry
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 cups stock (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
12 large Italian green olives, pitted and diced
4-6 sundried tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper
In a medium-sized sauce pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and farro. Toast the farro over medium-high heat until it becomes fragrant, stirring frequently (approximately two minutes).
Add the stock and diced tomatoes to the saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, covered. The farro will take 30-40 minutes to fully cook. If it doesn’t absorb all of the liquid, discard any leftover liquid.
While the farro is cooking, dice the olives, the sundried tomatoes, and the basil. Once the farro is tender, stir in the olives, tomatoes, and basil.