Farro with Carrots, Red Grapes, and Pearl Onions

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    8 to 10

Appears in

Farro, an Italian grain (wheat species) found primarily in abruzzo, Umbria, and Tuscany, has a sweet, nutty flavor and tender texture. Although it looks a lot like spelt, and some sources indicate the two grains are interchangeable, they are not. The directions on the package may indicate the farro should be soaked, but it is not necessary for this recipe. If you buy farro perlato, or pearled (semihulled) farro, it will cook more quickly than farro that is not pearled, which will take about 10 minutes longer. This would be a satisfying and hearty dressing at Thanksgiving. For a vegetarian option at your holiday table, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken stock or broth.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups/960 ml. homemade chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups/480 ml. water
  • 2 cups/370 g farro
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • cups/400 g frozen pearl onions, thawed and halved lengthwise
  • cups/270 g seedless red grapes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 4 medium carrots, trimmed, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. finely minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. finely minced fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp. kosher or fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp. Freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup/15 g chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Method

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the stock and water and bring to a boil. Add the farro, reduce the heat so the liquid just simmers, cover partially, and cook the farro until soft but still with a bit of firmness at the center, 20 to 45 minutes. (The cooking time for farro can vary widely depending on the type you buy. Taste along the way and go by texture rather than timing.) Drain the farro in a sieve placed over a heatproof bowl, reserving the broth. Transfer the farro to a separate bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large nonstick sauté pan, heat 2 tbsp. of the oil over medium heat and swirl to coat pan bottom. Add the onions and sauté, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Adjust the heat to low and continue to sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are browned and caramelized at the edges, 7 to 8 minutes longer. Add the grapes and stir to heat through. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Return the sauté pan to medium heat, add the remaining 1 tbsp. oil, and swirl to coat the pan bottom. Add garlic and carrots and sauté, stirring frequently, until soft but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the rosemary and thyme and sauté for 1 minute longer. Add the reserved farro, cup/165 ml. of the reserved broth, and the salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the parsley, stir to combine, and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and serve immediately. (The dressing can be made up to 1 day in advance, covered, and refrigerated. To reheat, let sit at room temperature for 1 hour, then transfer to a covered baking dish and place in a preheated 350°F/180°C/gas 4 oven until heated through, about 25 minutes.)