Recently I purchased two of Giada De Laurentiis’ cookbooks and I love them both. I used to not really like Giada but for some reason I have really grown to like her. A month or so ago I made her Spicy Smoked Mozzarella Meatballs and they were a huge hit. Tonight I tried out her recipe for Farro with Coarse Pesto to serve alongside seared tuna and brussels sprouts. This dish is super easy to make and only takes 25 minutes to prepare–and most of that time is hands-off. It’s a simple side dish that you can serve alongside a number of different things. Although Giada calls this a pesto, it does not contain pine nuts or any other nut like a pesto typically does. However, it is still very flavorful like a pesto due to the herbs.
If you are not familiar with Farro, it is a very healthy whole grain and an excellent source for complex carbohydrates. Additionally, farro is high in fiber and protein and rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. When cooked, farro has a firm, chewy texture.
If you decide to make this, be sure not to over-process the pesto as it should still have distinct pieces of the individual herbs, which helps to keep the flavors clearer and more distinct. Additionally, this recipe can easily be cut in half. One last thing…don’t even think about skipping the shavings of pecorino romano….that is absolutely necessary.
Farro with Coarse Pesto
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 1/2 cups Farro
- 2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Wedge of Pecorino Romano Cheese, for garnish
- Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the farro and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer the farro until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the farro and set aside in a large bowl.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor combine the parsley, basil, thyme, and garlic. Pulse until the herbs are coarsely chopped. Add the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pulse again until the herbs make a coarse mixture.
- Toss the warm farro with the coarse pesto. Transfer to a serving bowl. Using a vegetable peeler, make about 1/2 cup of cheese shavings from the Pecorino cheese wedge. Top the farro with the cheese shavings and serve.
(1) Do you like Giada?
(2) Do you have a favorite Giada recipe?