Farro with Sweet Peas and Ricotta

Farro with Sweet Peas and Ricotta
Staff Writer
Farro with Sweet Peas and Ricotta
Viviane Bauquet Farre
Farro with Sweet Peas and Ricotta

It’s not easy to make whole grains taste light, or look sophisticated. Yet, they’re so satisfying — not to mention, good for us — that it’s certainly worth giving it a try.

As far as whole grains go, farro has been stealing the spotlight lately. Mostly grown in Italy, farro actually refers to several kinds of wheat — including emmer, einkorn, and spelt — which have been cultivated in Europe since ancient times.

The most commonly grown wheat in Italy, and the one you’ll most likely end up buying, is emmer. It’s a fairly large grain, with a lovely nutty flavor and a pleasing, chewy texture. Emmer is best cooked in plenty of water until fluffed up but still al dente.

In this recipe, this fashionable grain is served with crunchy sweet peas and creamy ricotta (ideally, homemade!). The fresh herbs and lemony vinaigrette further brighten the flavors, making this dish as light and yummy as any whole grain could possibly taste.

Serve this quintessential spring dish as a salad, or as a main course, with these Carrots and Fennel Braised with Orange Zest and Honey. Either way, dig into this wholesome-yet-delicious bowl of farro. You’ll be glad you did!

4
Servings
1159
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Notes

*Note: If using frozen peas, do not defrost.

Ingredients

For the farro

  • 6  Cups  water
  • 1  Cup  farro or semi-pearled or pearled barley
  • 1/2  Teaspoon  sea salt
  • large cloves garlic, peeled
  • bay leaf

For the peas

  • 1  Tablespoon  sea salt
  • 6  Ounces  sugar snap peas, stemmed and cut on a bias into ¼-inch-thick pieces
  • 1 1/2  Cup  shelled fresh or frozen peas*
  • 1/4  Cup  thinly sliced chives
  • large mint leaves, chopped finely
  • 1/4  Teaspoon  sea salt
  • 1  Teaspoon  extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad

  • 1  Teaspoon  finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4  Cup  finely chopped shallot
  • 1/4  Teaspoon  sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2  Tablespoon  white balsamic or sherry vinegar
  • 4  Tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2  Cup  ricotta
  • 2  Ounces  pea shoots or other sprouts, stems trimmed to first leaf, for garnish
  • Fleur de sel or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

For the farro

In a medium-sized pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the farro, salt, garlic, and bay leaf. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered until tender but still al dente, about 30-35 minutes. Drain well, remove the garlic and bay leaf, and let cool for at least 15 minutes before assembling the dish.

For the peas

Fill a large bowl with cold water and several ice cubes. Fill a medium-sized pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the salt and blanch the sugar snap peas and shelled peas until tender but still a bit crunchy, 3 minutes.

Drain and transfer to the ice water bath until cool. Drain on paper towels. Once all of the excess water is removed, transfer to a large bowl and add the chives, mint, salt, and olive oil. Let stand at room temperature until ready to use.

For the salad

Place the lemon zest, shallot, salt, pepper, vinegar, and oil in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

Add the warm grains to the peas. Combine with the vinaigrette and mix well. Spoon into bowls and top with the fresh ricotta. Garnish with additional olive oil and the pea shoots, and season with fleur de sel and black pepper, to taste.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
59g
84%
Sugar
44g
49%
Saturated Fat
26g
100%
Cholesterol
43mg
14%
Carbohydrate, by difference
133g
100%
Protein
26g
57%
Vitamin A, RAE
430µg
61%
Vitamin B-12
1µg
42%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
1mg
1%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
21µg
23%
Calcium, Ca
341mg
34%
Choline, total
53mg
12%
Copper, Cu
1mg
0%
Fiber, total dietary
8g
32%
Folate, total
230µg
58%
Iron, Fe
22mg
100%
Magnesium, Mg
109mg
34%
Manganese, Mn
2mg
100%
Niacin
14mg
100%
Pantothenic acid
1mg
20%
Phosphorus, P
441mg
63%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
40µg
73%
Sodium, Na
881mg
59%
Thiamin
1mg
91%
Water
330g
12%
Zinc, Zn
4mg
50%

Farro Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Farro Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.