I consulted an expert from Bob’s Red Mill
Credit: Photo by Rebecca Firkser

I spend a lot of time thinking about farro. The chewy, nutty grain is technically an ancient variety of wheat, but it doesn’t resemble pasta in the slightest. In fact, it’s one of those grains that lasts for days in the fridge—I like to make a big pot to keep for moments when I need to eat right this minute. Like many grains, farro is incredibly versatile—it can slant sweet or savory, and it’s nutrient-dense, making it an excellent breakfast option.

“Farro doesn’t get oversaturated and mushy as easily as some other grains, and really holds up well when cooked,” says Sarah House, Food Innovation Chef at Bob’s Red Mill. “It is a little higher in protein than rice and has a little more ‘chew’ than oats or quinoa.” House also explained that farro has even more fiber than oats or quinoa, and it’s also a good source of iron, “which is great first thing in the morning.”

So, how should one go about preparing this grain? House recommends rinsing and draining 1 cup of farro, then placing it in a pot with 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then let it simmer for 30 minutes at medium-low heat before draining again. Farro can also be cooked like pasta, and simply boiled in salted water until tender and then drained, which takes about 20 minutes.

After it’s cooked, the possibilities are endless. “Farro would really shine in a breakfast bowl,” House says. “We love to layer cooked farro with a mixture of spicy sausage like chorizo, greens like kale or Swiss chard, sautéed or caramelized onions, and feta or goat cheese. Add a soft boiled egg on top and it’s basically the perfect breakfast.” The grain also works well with a sweet treatment. House recommends topping it with a bit of brown sugar and butter, or Greek yogurt and chopped fruit with toasted nuts or seeds on top. “[It has a] full, rich, nutty flavor that works with a lot of different ingredients without being overpowering.”

Unlike many breakfast grains and seeds like quinoa, buckwheat, and some oats and rice, House pointed out that farro is not gluten free. However, if you have no problem digesting gluten, this nutty powerhouse is the grain for you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to put a poached egg on some farro salad leftovers.