September 18, 2014
For those not familiar with the nutty, ancient grain farro that I’ll be sampling with my group in Tuscany next month, read this New York Times excerpt:
“From a cross-country reading of the culinary winds, it appears that farro, an ancient grain believed to have sustained the Roman legions, has finally made it to the New World. Used in soups, salads and desserts, the little light brown grain is an intriguing alternative to pasta and rice. Not that farro hasn’t been in active use in Italy for the intervening centuries; it has, if only in a few central and northern Italian regions, where it is grown. These are relatively poor areas, where the longevity of the populace is sometimes attributed to regular farro consumption. But now farro (pronounced FAHR-oh) appears to be moving from rustic tables into fashionable restaurants not only in Tuscany and northern Italy (where it suddenly seems ubiquitous on menus), but also in the United States, particularly on the West and East Coasts. Farro dishes are now regularly on the menus at high-profile restaurants…”
Farro makes fabulous spring salads, but for me, autumn is all about Minestra di Farro, preferably with root veggies; or substitute farro for risotto and place under a perfect piece of roasted fish! I can’t wait to hunt down the famous olive oil of Lucca to drizzle on a bowl of this stuff.
PS We just walked down from our Tuscany country villa to an agriturismo on this perfect day and made this soup. Ideal for an early fall dinner!