Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"What the What" Wednesday and Farro


The perfect question to start this post is "What the What?" is farro? Farro is an ancient grain (meaning is has been around way before wheat...or you... and it originated in Rome) but is from the wheat family of grains. It has a nutty texture and taste, working well with hearty and rich flavors. In compliments my favorite fruit of the summer:  cherries. The tangy sweet flavor of the cherries accents this nutty grain and mint gives it a fresh summer accent. I decided it was a perfect recipe for an upcoming dinner on the patio, so of course I wanted to test it out!

First you need to rinse your farro well to remove any hull or film on the grain. 

Add to sauce pan with water and salt. 

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until grain is soft but firm, about 25 minutes. 

While your farro is cooking away, here comes the fun part, pitting cherries. I cheat and have this handy gadget (it works for olives too).

And it is MESSY! (It may be just me...) but don't wear white or your favorite outfit. I always wear an apron because I am probably the most clumsy cook on the planet. Halve your pitted cherries. 

Prepare you other ingredients, toast your almond slices by adding them to a pan heated to medium and gliding them around the pan until they are a slight brown, removing immediately so they don't burn. (I have witnessed this happening to Cool). 

Dice your red onion, open up your feta and make sure the pieces are uniform. To slice the mint, pull the leaves off the stalk, place 5-6 leaves directly on top of each other and roll. Take a knife and slice through to create mint ribbons.

Now you farro should be cool and your are ready to throw everyone in to the pool.  

Mix all the ingredients together and eat!  This salad will make a lot and to keep the fresh taste, consume within 24 hours of preparing. Or you can leave off the mint, and add when ready to serve, up to 48 hours. 

Cherry-Almond Farro Salad

Adapted from:
6 servings Active Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 cup farro, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup Hy-Vee White Balsamic & Honey vinaigrette
  • 2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup Hy-Vee fat-free feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Hy-Vee slivered almonds, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint


  1. Combine farro, water and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the farro is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid and fluff with a fork. Spread the farro out on a large rimmed baking sheet to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Add vinaigrette, cherries, feta, almonds, onion, mint and the farro. Gently stir to combine.


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