My New Obsession: Farro

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I made Lidia Bastianich's 'Farro with Roasted Pepper Sauce' from Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy last week, and me oh my, what a delicious recipe! The sauce is a simple tomato sauce made with canned Italian plum tomatoes, onions, garlic and golden raisins, with chunks of roasted red and orange bell peppers stirred in.

However, one pound of farro cost $10 at my Greene Grape Provisions, my local gourmet market--that is a lot! I mean, I was sort of shocked when I examined the receipt. A little investigation reveals that it wasn't just my local market that charges a steep fee for this grain, farro is pricey.

Lidia actually explains the reason in her books, she writes, "Farro, a variety of wheat also known as emmer, was one of the first domesticated crops. It is a low-yielding grain and difficult to cultivate; hence it feel out of favor in much of the world. But in Italy, farro has always been appreciated." Lidia recommends spelt, barley and other grains as possible substitutes, but I loved the plump, chewy texture of farro.

Anyone know of a place to obtain reasonably priced farro in New York City? I'd even be willing to trek up to Arthur Avenue for a deal.


Liz Fenton said...

The only Farro available comes from Italy, and, yes, it's always expensive. I've looked for it in CA at the coop, but it's not sold in bulk. Out here it's available at Corti Brothers and Nugget.

jen said...

you might want to try the recipe with spelt. i know it is different, but i think they have a lot of similarities. i buy spelt at the bulk bin at whole foods. it is inexpensive and delicious!

Laura Fenton said...

Thanks for the spelt suggestion--I'll give it a whirl!

Liz Fenton said...

I don't like spelt as well as farro, and it takes longer to cook. I looked at your farro bag and it's 3 pounds; $10 is a great price for 3 pounds, since I'm paying over $6 for one.

flwrjane said...

Just made my granola ( with dried wild blueberries, yum) and am folding my fitted sheet. Thinking of you.


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