A nutritious, delicious, Italian inspired dish the whole family will love. JUMP TO RECIPE
If you’re looking to incorporate more whole grains into your diet, here’s a great recipe to add to your rotation. Fig Balsamic Farro with Spinach, Cranberries, and Almonds is a flavor packed, Italian inspired dish the whole family will love. Whenever I make this I always double the recipe because we gobble it up so quickly. It’s great for lunch and as a side dish with dinner. The sweet, tart, fig balsamic flavor, along with cranberries and almonds, is an awesome complement to chicken and pork, but really, this dish goes well with just about anything. And, if you like tapas style dining, you can even serve it as a small plate appetizer, as pictured below.
In case you’re not familiar with farro (also known as emmer), here are a few fun facts about this delicious ancient grain:
• It’s a variety of wheat, however, unlike modern wheat, it has never by dwarfed, hybridized, or genetically modified to achieve higher yields or to make harvesting easier. It’s grown today, in more or less the same way as it was thousands of years ago.
• When Italians use the word “farro” they’re referring to three strains of wheat – einkorn, emmer, and spelt, but here in the United States, when we say “farro” we’re almost always talking about emmer.
• It has less gluten but is higher in protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than durum wheat (the most commonly cultivated variety of wheat). This is because ancient wheat has a more extensive root system which allows for the absorption of more nutrients into the plant from the soil.
The recipe for Fig Balsamic Farro with Spinach, Cranberries, and Almonds calls for the farro to be cooked in vegetable stock. If you don’t have vegetable stock you can substitute chicken stock or water. Before you start the recipe check the cooking directions on the package as the amount of liquid required to cook 1 cup of farro varies depending on the brand, as does the cooking time.
If you’d like to see more recipes using farro check out Chicken Artichoke Farro Frittata, Farro Salmon Salad, Lemony Shrimp with White Beans and Farro, and Orange Pecan Farro Salad.
If you make Fig Balsamic Farro wtih Spinach, Cranberries, and Almonds don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me over on Instagram @QueenofMyKitchen. I’d love to see your creation!
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup farro
- 2 ounces olive oil
- 1 ounce fig balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups (2 ounces) tightly packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
- Cook the farro in vegetable stock for 25-30 minutes (see notes).
- When the farro is done add the spinach, cranberries, and almonds and stir to combine.
- Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper and pour over the farro.
- Stir to combine.
- Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.
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