Farro is a nutty-tasting ancient grain that has been eaten for thousands of years around the world. It is a staple in many Mediterranean, Ethiopian, and Middle Eastern recipes. It was once called “pharaoh’s wheat” since it was popular in Egypt before it found its way to Italy.
If you are sensitive to gluten this may not be the dish for you. Farro contains gluten protein and is most definitely not gluten-free. If you are not sensitive to gluten, farro is an excellent source of protein, fiber, and nutrients like magnesium and iron. It’s a big nutritional step up from using white rice or other refined grains.
This hearty and nutritious salad is perfect winter fare. I serve it as a complete meal for lunch or supper.
1 cup farro wheat grain
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped Meyer lemon zest (from about 4 lemons)
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
½ cup fresh parsley leaves (chopped)
½ cup feta cheese (crumbled)
2/3 cup Castelvetrano olives (meat cut away from pit)
Salt to taste (if desired)
Bring 4 cups salted water to a boil and stir in farro. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and spread out on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Allow to cool and dry a bit, about 5 minutes.
While farro is cooling, whisk oil, lemon juice and zest, black pepper, Aleppo pepper, and parsley together in a medium bowl. Stir in feta, olives, and cooled farro.