Take a culinary voyage to the Mediterranean with farro, a hearty grain that was a mainstay of the daily diet in ancient Rome. Some say farro is the original ancestor of all other wheat species—“the mother of all wheat.” In ancient Rome, farro was a staple food that provided the main source of nourishment for the Roman legions, and it was even used as a form of currency. Today this Old World heirloom grain is still highly regarded in Italy, where it has been grown for generations by Tuscan farmers and is featured in many traditional dishes.
Farro Salad with Cherry Tomato and Arugula
Serves 6 or so
1 1/2 cups farro (3/4 pound)
1/3-cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Kosher Salt and cracked pepper
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
2 bunches of arugula (3/4 pound), stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces
In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the farro until al dente- about 25 minutes. Drain well. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
In a bowl, mix the olive oil and vinegar.
Add the tomatoes, arugula and dressing to the farro and toss well. Season with salt and cracked pepper and serve at once.
The cooked farro can be refrigerated overnight.
The farro salad calls for a dry white Italian wine with character.