The Farro and the Storm

We’ve been having some wacky weather the past few days. Por ejemplo:



Besides looking like something out of The Day After Tomorrow, the sky split repeatedly as lightning hit the ground not far away.  I tried to capture a picture using a tripod and a long exposure, yet the clouds remained stubbornly blank during every picture. Instead, lightning would flash after every shutter click, as if to say,”Bwah ha ha, I am master of ALL!”

(Yes, of course I feel fine. Why do you ask?)

Being an East Coast girl, I’ve never seen the edge of a storm creep toward the horizon like in the picture below.


This storm took place Monday evening and was the first of several. Even as I type this post Tuesday evening, the sky crackles with electricity and the wind threatens to knock my poor sunflowers to their leaves. Again. They can’t catch a break.

But I did. Check out this craziness Tuesday night (f/3.5, 5 sec, no tripod):

midwest lightning

mid west lightning storm

midwest lightning storm

Nothin’ like livin’ in the Midwest. Yup.

But I wanted to discuss farro.


This whole grain is chock-full of fiber and B-vitamins, and has a nutty texture that provides body in any dish.  I’ve only eaten farro once, over three years ago – shameful, I know – and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to try it again.


I cooked this batch in the pressure cooker and was tempted to eat it plain because it was so darn tasty.  But I held back, just for you, dear reader.  How lame would it be to post a recipe that consisted of “1. Cook farro, 2. Eat.”?


Instead, I mixed up a warm farro salad that had me going back for more. Served with sous-vide local tenderloin over sauteed kale.

With a marjoram blossom garnish.
With a marjoram blossom garnish.

Mushroom Farro with Roasted Tomatoes and Marjoram

  Prep Time: 10 minutes

  Cook Time: 25-45 minutes

  Keywords: roast side farro

Ingredients (6 servings)

  • 1 cup farro
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, chopped
  • Parmesan, grated or shaved (optional garnish)


Combine farro and vegetable broth in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes (pearled farro) or 45 minutes (regular farro). Check toward end of cooking time to see if grains are tender and have absorbed all the liquid. Note: If using pressure cooker, cook farro for 15 minutes.

While farro cooks, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toss tomato halves with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then lay on sheet pan. Roast for 15 minutes, or until tender.

Transfer farro to a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt. Mix in roasted tomatoes, mushrooms and marjoram. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or cold, with Parmesan cheese garnish if desired.

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Q: Have you ever tried farro?

P.S. Congratulations to Monet on the arrival of her little Lucy! 🙂


  1. We had a monstrous storm last night around 3am, and it woke both of us up. It was LOUD and annoying! I hate storms. I used to love them (as a naive young girl) now I hate them.

    Farro is next on my list of grains with which to experiment. I feel like it’s a lot like wheat berries. I think I’m making a mint and tomato salad with farro, but yours sounds lovely as well. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It must have been the same storm, since you’re just east of us! It left our area sometime after midnight (to our relief). Thunderstorms at night are a bummer.

    1. Thanks for visiting, Christina!

  2. Jessie, your photos are beautiful! Terrifying (I haven’t witnessed a proper thunderstorm in a very very long time), but beautiful.

    This dish looks great. I saw some 10 minute farro at TJ’s…that seems almost too quick of a cooking time to be healthy but I’m curious to try it.

    1. I’d say try it! That farro is probably parboiled, which would account for the short cooking time. It could also be pearled, meaning some of the bran has been removed (non-pearled has more fiber, etc. in it). If you try it, let me know what you think!

  3. Wow what amazing pictures!! But keep safe Jessie!!

    That dish looks lovely, but to be honest I am salivating over the tenderloin, which looks perfectly cooked!

    Farro reminds me of Faro, the beautiful holiday destination in Portugal. With a name like that, I hope the taste is equally beautiful!

  4. Hi Jessie,
    Thanks for the great-looking recipe. Could you clear up a little confusion for me? WiseGeek says both spelt (Triticum aestivum L. subsp. spelta) and emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum L. subsp. dicoccon) are called “farro.” Wikipedia adds einkorn (Triticum monococcum) to the mix, explaining that any of these three forms of ancient wheat might be intended when someone speaks of farro. So which grain did you cook that was so tasty?

    1. Hi Laurie – no problem! Farro is often confused with other grains, including the ones you mentioned. It is not the same as either spelt or einkorn, although they look somewhat similar (btw, I plan to try a recipe with einkorn down the line 🙂 ). The closest grain is emmer.

      Also, I should have mentioned in the post that farro is NOT a gluten-free grain and would not be suitable for those with Celiac or gluten-sensitivity.

      Thanks for your question!

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