I’ve been wanting to try farro for quite a while now but my Whole Foods always seems to be out of it. I finally found some the other day (when I was there for something entirely different of course. It is a fact you cannot leave WF with less than 5 items. I have tried. Many times.), so I picked it up.
I had actually planned on making some sort of chicken/spinach/whole wheat pasta bake last night because I wanted to make something that would yield leftovers for lunches. But, I was not feeling pasta at all and, silly me, I ate a chicken pasta for lunch. D’oh. So for the last half hour of work, my mind kept wandering to what I could make tonight. I still wanted something one-dish that would yield leftovers. And then I remembered the farro. And THEN, I realized that farro ended in an O which meant I could submit this over to Jenn, Sara, and Michelle, who are hosting O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness. Phew. I was racking my brain trying to think of something to make for this over the weekend with what I had on hand and came up with nada. So I was pretty happy to discover something on accident, since I really wanted to participate in this event. More details about Ovarian Cancer Awareness at the end of this post.
Now, I have never cooked with farro before so I’m not sure about the whole soaking thing. Some websites called for soaking the farro in cold water for 8 hours or more before baking. Other recipes just had you jump right into the boiling. I decided to soak the farro for about 45 minutes. Seemed to work just fine.
There is a very small amount of chicken in this recipe which is great for people trying to eat less meat, or simply cut down on costs. Of course, you can always add more chicken if you are not one of those people. Or, take it out entirely and make this a great vegetarian meal. I might add an extra egg or a little more cheese next time for added creaminess, but otherwise this was very tasty and filling. And wait till you see the nutritional information. You definitely won’t feel bad adding an extra egg or some cheese if you want. :)
I really liked the farro. I would say it’s very similar to barley in both taste and texture, but it’s still a nice change of pace. I will probably stick with barley and other grains, though, because, while this is a whole grain, it is lower in fiber and protein than barley.
Printer Friendly Recipe
1 cup farro (soaked or not. whatev.)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms
1 chicken breast (about 8-10 oz.), cooked and shredded
a couple dashes crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, drained and chopped
10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water
3 oz. goat cheese, softened
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. grated parmesan or romano cheese
salt and pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the farro. Cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion until translucent, and then add the mushrooms and garlic. Add a little salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms have browned and lost most of their moisture. Stir in the chicken, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper to taste, and Italian seasoning and cook a few extra minutes to marry the flavors. Stir in the sundried tomatoes.
Preheat the oven to 375. Whisk the goat cheese and eggs together in a large bowl. Add a couple grinds of pepper. Allow the farro and chicken mixture to cool slightly before adding them both to the goat cheese mixture. Combine well and then pour into a casserole dish or pie pan that is lightly greased. Sprinkle with the romano cheese. Bake for about 35 minutes.
Nutritional Information Per Serving – Calories: 267 / Fat: 8.8 / Saturated: 3.6 / Carbs: 29g / Protein: 21.2g
O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of Gina DePalma, author of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen and Executive Pastry Chef of Babbo Ristorante in NYC, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy, Jenn of The Leftover Queen, and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso are asking you to donate to the:
and then, out of the goodness of your hearts and to be eligible for the OFoods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month Contest, please do the following:
- Post a recipe to your blog using a food that starts or ends with the letter O (e.g., oatmeal, orange, okra, octopus, olive, onion, potato, tomato) and include this entire text box in the post;
- If you’re not into the recipe thing, simply post this entire text box in a post on your blog to help spread the word about the event and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
- Then send your post url [along with a photo (100 x 100) if you’ve made a recipe] to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on September 30, 2008.
We will post a roundup and announce prize winners on October 3.
- 1 Recipe Prize for best “O food” concoction: $50 gift certificate to Amazon;
- 1 Awareness Prize for only publicizing event: Copy of Dolce Italiano cookbook.
From the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund:
- Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67.
- The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,650 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the U.S. in 2008 and about 15,520 women will die from the disease.
- The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose. There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.
- In spite of this patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region.
- When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.
Please donate to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund
and help spread the word!