Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Farro - Mediterranean Style

What a pleasant surprise it is when you find a food that is good for you and you like it!  It's almost too easy to go vegetarian when farro is on your side.  Farro is similar in texture to barley, but nutty in taste.  It's a grain that can be used in risotto instead of rice or in "rice pudding"  That I'll have to try! Supposedly, it originates in the mountainous regions of Tuscany and Abruzzo in Italy which are relatively poor areas (or used to be).  Regular farro consumption is said to have contributed to these people's longevity.  Nothing wrong with that!

Farro - Mediterranean Style

  4 "rounds" of pancetta, diced  (omit if vegetarian version is wanted)

1 cup or an 8.8 oz bag of farro (before cooking)

1 can (15 oz size) of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed well

1 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp lemon zest

1/2 lemon juiced

handful of fresh basil, chopped

1 2.25 oz can of sliced olives, drained and rinsed

1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and roughly chopped

olive oil

In a large skillet brown the pancetta.  Add the garbanzo beans and slightly toast them for a few minutes.  Meanwhile or beforehand cook the farro according to directions, usually 10-12 minutes.  Drain any liquid out when done.  Add the farro, garlic powder, lemon zest and juice, basil, olives and artichoke hearts to the skillet.  To finish it off you can drizzle some olive oil in and mix well.

At this point you can serve or refrigerate for later or even the next day.  The flavor is even better the next day!  Mangia...  

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