~Spinach Pesto Farro Recipe~
2 cups Italian semi-pearled farro
5 cups water
4 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (1/4 cup reserved)
1/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch of sea salt
1 onion, sliced and 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
6-8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped*
shaved Pecorino Romano to garnish
In a saucepan, combine water and farro and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. The cooking time can vary by brands, some requiring 30 minutes. Check the instructions on the bag you've purchased. I tend to taste a few morsels as I move along. You want it to be 'al dente,' but don't let it go too far. Also, keep in mind, if you've purchased whole farro, not semi-pearled farro, you should soak the grains overnight. Your cooking time will take 45 minutes to an hour.
Toast pine nuts and cook onion:
While the farro is cooking, heat a cast iron or skillet pan over medium heat. Let the pine nuts go for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Keep your eye on them. Your nose will tell you when they're done. Reserve half the pine nuts as a topping. The other 1/4 cup will be used in the pesto. Wipe out pan and add a teaspoon of olive oil. Cook sliced onion for a few minutes over medium heat until it wilts down and put it aside.
Make spinach pesto:
In a food processor, combine spinach leaves, garlic, 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, Pecorino Romano, extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt. Pulse for a few seconds. Scrape down the sides and give it another whirl until combined.
Pull it all together:
Drain any excess water from the farro. In a large bowl fold the spinach pesto into the warm farro. Transfer to a serving platter from here, or simply assemble right in the same bowl. Top with wilted onion, sun-dried tomatoes, reserved pine nuts, and shavings of Pecorino Romano. Serves 4.