Have you seen farro popping up on your restaurant menus? Maybe you’ve seen this new item on your grocery stores shelves. This grain may be trendy, but farro is anything but new. It is actually an ancient strain of wheat, more commonly known around the world as  “Emmer”. Italians use it the most in their cuisine in semolina flour and pasta, but farro can be used in a variety of ways. Try it as the grain in a tabouleh, have it cold as as topping on a salad, hot along side some sautéed vegetables or use in place of rice in many dishes.

Farro is considered a whole grain, but be sure to check the ingredient last and make sure it is listed as “whole farro” and not “pearled farro” as the latter is not a whole grain. It is a strain of wheat, so those following a gluten-free diet should avoid farro. 

A serving of farro (¼ dry, before cooking) contains about 160 calories, 3g of fiber and 7g of protein, which is similar to quinoa.

Here are a couple of good recipes to get you started.

Farro, Dried Fruit and Garbanzo Salad

Italian Bean and Farro Soup

For more information and recipe ideas, check out the whole grains council’s website.