Ancient Super Grain

Warning: I talk a lot about farro in this post and then share a recipe that doesn’t even have farro in it. I’m ridiculous.

One of those questions that people tend to ask as a way to get to know someone better (you know, in like ice breakers and whatnot) is, if you could be ANYTHING in the world- what would you be? 

It’s a hard question but it really does make you look at your life and what you love. My answer? Well to be honest- my initial responses would be First Lady (my legit actual dream role), member of the Royal Family in Britain (basically, I want to trade skins with Kate Middleton), a Kardashian sister (only kind of joking), or the personal assistant to the 25-man roster of the Boston Red Sox.

Because those titles and roles aren’t necessarily tangible and I know I need to provide people with something a little more realistic- my REAL answer to that age old question is… I would like to be known as a culinary historian.

I’m sure you can guess why. Food? Love it. History? Love it. The history of people, cultures, civilizations and their connection to food- and going further- how that has shaped the world we live in today? Absolutely, totally love it.

Learning the background or story behind what I’m eating is so cool to me. I think it’s why I’m drawn to sephardic/mediterranean cooking so much- the history- it intrigues me.

Besides the fact that I’m obsessed with the texture and flavor, I know part of the reason why I have fallen in love with the grain farro is it’s wicked cool history. I spent an hour this morning reading articles about farro and it’s historical significance. Who am I?

Farro originates from the Fertile Crescent aka the CRADLE of civilization- NO BIG DEAL. you should remember learning about this special little area in all your world civilization classes- see: Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. I also can’t get over the fact that we call it farro- which is a homonym for PHARAOH- and I mean, hello Ancient Egyptians! It’s just a linguistic coincidence but I love it.

Farro eventually made it’s way over to Italy and was a staple for the Ancient Romans. The world itself, farro, is actually an italian word that was derived from Latin. The French eventually got a hold of it and made it more of a versatile grain-using it frequently in soups.

ANYWAY. The whole point of this rambling mess is that I’ve taken a big ol’ liking to farro and I think it’s pretty cool.

It’s a tasty whole grain packed with lots of solid health benefits.

I really fell for it after tasting the farro salad from Glen’s Garden Market– farro, carrots, pesto, YUM. And now over at Pleasant Pops they have a farro salad that features beets, carrots, parsley, and red wine vinegar. Obsessed.2013-10-25 12.01.59

Also featured in these photos is their romesco roasted squash sandwich aka the most amazing delicious-ness between two slices of ciabatta bread.2013-10-25 12.04.33

These recipes inspired me to create my own farro salad. Problem was… I had brown rice pasta on hand and didn’t want to spend more money and buy farro. SO I made a pasta salad with brown rice fusilli BUT it was inspired by these farro salads and ideally should be made with farro because it’s so damn good!

Allison’s Farro-less Farro Salad Serves 4P1020892


  • 4 cups of cooked brown rice pasta OR 2 cups of cooked farro
  • 1/2 cup pesto (mine was homemade because I’m classy like that)
  • 1 bag of chopped spinach (like 8 cups I’m assuming)
  • 8 oz. of cooked beets (trader joes sells em’ steemed and peeled)
  • 16 oz. carrots (I used a bag of frozen carrots from trader joes)
  • 2 cans of beans (I used white northern beans)
  • S & P to taste


These “parisian carrots” look like mini pumpkins and I don’t hate it one bit.P1020894P1020881

I used this Food Network recipe for pesto (I just halfed it).P1020882P1020883P1020884

Three where the ingredients weren’t mixed yet and one where everything was stirred together. Pretty fall colors, no? Four lunches for the week all ready to go. I also added an extra drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of parmesan cheese onto each serving.

Whole grains- fiber- carbs from the pasta. Fiber and healthy goodness (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants!) from the veggies, healthy fats from the pesto, and protein from the beans. Boom.

Trader Joes has a 10-minute cook version of farro. Once I finish my bag of pasta, I will be buying the farro and making some sort of other salad-y creation.

I understand that paleo-ers are anti-grains because that’s not how the “orginal man” ate (like neanderthals) but I mean, c’mon, how can you deny the grains that made up the diets of the ancient civlizations that came before us? You know, the ones that we base SO much of our culture and society off of? I don’t know.

Food for thought I guess.

You’re all just lucky you got a post out of me today. My ability to concentrate on anything other than GAME SIX OF THE WORLD SERIES tomorrow is pretty non-existent.2013-10-24 18.57.06

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo


8 thoughts on “Ancient Super Grain

  1. Never tried farro, probably a little like barley? This salad looks amazing! Cannot wait for the game tonight, GO SOX! Got your recipe, thank you; I’m planning on using it next week sometime! Love you!

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