Pesto Farro

Lately we’ve been trying to up our lunch game- up the nutrition, up the flavor and up the wow factor- without upping the prep time.

Enter the grain bowl trend.

It’s pretty brilliant actually. Take a grain – think brown rice, quinoa, cousouc- add some vegetables and protein and boom, lunch. Even better? Easy to make in bulk. Boom, lunch for the week.

We discovered farro a few months ago while watching Extra Virgin on Cooking Channel. It’s an ancient grain with a somewhat nutty flavor that you can treat sort of like pasta.

I buy the kind that you cook just by boiling in water for about 20 minutes.

I whipped up some basil pesto


boiled the farro


sliced some tomatoes and black olives


And poured it all into a big bowl



stirring until the pesto coated every grain.


Portioned out in tupperware containers, this was an easy grab and go lunch for the week.

Farro Salad


Last night I took a page out of Deb and Gabriele’s cookbook Extra Virgin.


The hubster plays hockey every Wednesday night, so I try to come up with something that I can make for myself to eat warm that will be equally as good for him cold.

Generally, this means a pasta salad.

But I wanted to try something a little different. And that’s when I hit upon Deb and Gabriele’s farro salad.

Farro is a whole grain the Italians have been eating for years. It has a chewy texture and an almost nutty taste. It’s loaded with fiber and the good kinds of carbohydrates. And it’s as easy to prepare as pasta (Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the farro and cook for 20 minutes. Drain it and add whatever you wish to it)

It almost looks like oats. Or cracked wheat.


I went with Deb and Gabriele’s simple accompaniments of ripe cherry tomatoes, kalamata olive, good olive oil and some fresh mozzarella.

When you have tomatoes that look like this, you don’t need to do anything to them.



Just slice them in half



and toss them in a bowl


Next, chop up some kalamata olives (or buy a jar of sliced ones like I did. Shh don’t tell) and add them to the tomatoes.


Finally, add the warm farro, a drizzle of olive oil and some black pepper. Give it all a big stir.


Serve up in bowls and top with some mozzarella cheese. I shredded mine, but you can break up some fresh mozzarella into chunks if you prefer.


I ate mine right away then put the rest in the fridge for the hungry hockey player when he got home.

He gave the cold version a thumbs up.

So much so that we both are taking the leftovers for lunch today.