Have you ever tried farro?  In the vast world of grains, farro is a whole grain with a rich ancient history as it’s been used in many cultures for thousands of years.  Farro is a close relative to durum wheat and is a go-to grain in Italian cooking.  It’s the primary grain in semolina flour - thus, many Italian soups and pastas contain farro wheat.

What I love about farro is it’s an excellent source of fiber with 5 grams per 1/2 cup plus it has about 10 grams of protein.  (That means you feel full faster and longer - and that bodes well for blood sugar control, too!)  It has a nutty, chewy flavor that lends itself well to whatever your flight of culinary fancy may be that day.  However, watch your serving (and waistline!) - 1/2 cup has 290 calories, which can add up fast — use a smaller bowl or plate when serving it up and eat it slowly.

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Try these tasty farro creations:

  • Toss farro into soups or chili.
  • Top cooked farro with stir-fried veggies.
  • Cook it with milk and top with berries for a hot cereal breakfast.
  • Mix cooked farro with roasted root veggies.
  • Toss farro with dried cranberries, slivered green onions and feta cheese.
  • Sprinkle farro over fruit salad.
  • Stuff peppers, tomatoes or zucchini with farro.

Today, I am going to combine farro with baked eggplant and garlic and top with cherry tomatoes and shaved parmesan.  Keep it quick and easy by using pre-cooked farro - it’s done in minutes.  (I like Trader Joe’s 10-Minute Farro).  The parmesan adds umami or a savory, deliciousness to this dish.

 Eggplant, Garlic and Tomato Farro with Shaved Parmesan

 

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Serves 4 (1/2 cup each)

Ingredients

1 cup farro, quick cook variety

2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 small eggplant, diced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

Pinch of salt

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves

1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss eggplant, garlic, olive oil, paprika and salt in an oven-safe bowl.   Bake for 20 minutes, toss and then bake again for another 20 minutes, repeat this until eggplant is soft and golden brown.

While eggplant is baking, put the farro in a pot with the broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes.

Spoon cooked farro into a mixing bowl, mix in baked eggplant and tomatoes and top with parmesan shavings.  Serve in smaller bowls or plates as a side dish to grilled fish, chicken or tofu or place on a bed of mixed greens.

Nutrition Information (per 1/2 cup serving):  Calories: 282, Total Fat: 9 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Trans fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 3 mg, Sodium 209 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 44 g, Dietary Fiber: 13 g,  Sugars: 5 g, Protein: 9 g  

Enjoy eating simply,

-Vicki

 

 

 

 

 

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