Monday, May 16, 2011

Whole Farro, Spelt, and Wheat Berries

Whole farro on the left / farro perlato on the right
You remember my adventures and misadventures with farro, right?  The moral of that story was to only buy farro perlato and stay away from farro and spelt with the husk (or whole farro).  But morals are rarely written in stone unless you want to start a new religion.  So, is there anything worthwhile you can do with whole farro, spelt, and wheat berries?  Yes!  After a little experimentation, I found a good method for cooking them.

  1. Soak in cold water for 8-24 hours
  2. Drain.
  3. Cover with cold water by 3 inches (no need to measure, but for every cup reconstituted grain, you want about 3 cups water)
  4. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to very low.  Season to taste with salt, cover, and cook for about an hour +/- 10 minutes.  Grains will still be slightly chewy when done.  
  5. Drain and use in hot or cold dishes.  
Here are some good uses for these hearty, chewy grains:
  • tossed with cold vegetables and vinaigrette for a salad
  • tossed with softer grains or beans and some cooked onions and served hot
  • added to soups

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