Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Spanish Farro – An Ancient Recipe for an Ancient Grain

Spanish rice was one of the first recipes I made for my parents after returning home from my first semester at culinary school. Ironically, I didn’t learn the recipe in class, but rather at a Mexican restaurant I worked at part-time.

I don’t remember much from that job, or decade, but I’ll never forget how that rice was put together, and that’s exactly how we’re doing it here – except for one minor detail. We’re not using rice.  

I really love farro, and have used it in various rice preparations, always with great results. This was no exception, and maybe my favorite so far. This larger, meatier, “ancient” grain pairs perfect with the spices, and I find it even easier to cook perfectly than rice.

If you don’t have a pan like the one used in the video, simply prepare everything in a skillet. Once your broth starts to boil, transfer it into a 2-quart casserole dish, wrap with foil, and proceed as directed. Either way, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!  

Ingredients for 6 portions:
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely diced onions
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder, or other dried, ground chili
1 teaspoon chipotle
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup “pearled” farro, rinsed, drained well
2 cups chicken broth

- Bake at 350 F for 50-60 minutes, or until farro is just tender


rnorningstar's wings said...

I probably won't end up actually trading this recipe any time soon, but I did do a bit of research -- rice DID come before farro, but only by about 1000-3000 years or so! I only skimmed the surface for research, but I followed "true farro", which happens to be known as "emmer", and it was around about 10,000 years ago, while rove has been around for 13,000 yeasts or so. So, it is pretty ancient, but it's not THE ancient grain.

I digress. I won't be trying this one soon, but I've tried many others, and they have all worked & been loved without fail. Though, I have found that I don't really like parsley, strangely.

choinire said...

If it is not possible to find farro, what is the best type of rice to replace it to get a similar result?

Yousra ALOMAMI said...

Looks delicious, can we add some king of protein like ground beef ? I'm thinking of
Something like a chili con carne but with farro ?

Chase Saunders said...

"Ancient grain" means closer to its wild ancestor.

Cliverton said...

Tough crowd here CJ.
My ancestors ate farro long before we convinced the rest or Europe tomatoes and potatoes were not of the devil. If it was good enough to hold an empire for a thousand years it is worth a try. We in the Great Experiment were looking to be that fortunate without farro. Oh well.

May the memory of Casa Del Sol, and Waterhole #3 live on.

This dish is even better with the farro for a hearty winter side, chewy spicy and bright (I spritzed a bit of lemon juice on top before serving).
Thanks for the memories.

wiiittttt said...

Is it possible to use whole grain instead of pearled for the farro? I've got the stuff from Bob and it doesn't seem to say anything about being pearled on it.

vbelden said...

I asked this same question on your Youtube channel...Chef John I have a question, is it more beneficial for you for us to watch your videos thru Youtube or on your blog or does it matter either way? I ask because I love your videos and watch them repeatedly on both. Please keep up the good works. :)

Jeff said...

Is this a side dish... meal? What type of entree would go well with this? I gotta have some meat!

Karen said...

Please tell me that is two servings. Please! My husband and I polished off all of it. Outstanding! I've never made a recipe of yours that disappointed me.

Patrick said...

Made this last night and enjoyed it. I could have used a little more broth, maybe another half cup or so, but it was still tasty. I topped it with roasted broccolini, which made for a nice pairing.

Pat Doughty said...

I made this tonight, and I only strayed a little bit from your recipe Chef John. I pan roasted the farro in a dry pan for about two minutes instead of rinsing it in water. It turned out amazing, and had a nice added smoky quality to it. I paired it with refried beans and grated sharp cheddar. A complete protein, and a complete success! Thanks for the video.