~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

Cook farro:
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.