A few years ago I posted a pasta recipe using tiny little asparagus coins as a component of the sauce. The other day I decided to roast them and ended up with a side dish that won me over. Added bonus: it is super fast to prepare. Pearled farro cooks a lot faster than the regular grain, and I did not detect any loss in flavor or texture. If you find it in your grocery store, stock on a few bags.

(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

3/4 cup pearled farro
asparagus stalks, cut in very small rounds
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Herbes de Provence
squirt of lemon juice

Heat oven to 420F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the farro, cook for 15 to 20 minutes. If you like it with a bit more bite, check at 15 minutes and if it’s done to your liking, drain and reserve.

Meanwhile coat the asparagus coins with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, and Herbes de Provence, amounts are flexible, just go with your intuition. For a regular size asparagus bundle I used 1/4 tsp Herbes de Provence.

Place the asparagus in a single layer in a baking dish covered with aluminum foil to facilitate clean-up. Roast for about 15 minutes moving it around the baking sheet.  When they are done, squirt some lemon juice, adjust seasoning and mix with the warm farro.  Serve right away. Leftovers are great also. Even cold as a salad.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Many variations are possible here. If you don’t want to roast the asparagus coins, simply sautee them quickly in olive oil plus all the spices. Because the coins are so tiny, they cook very fast, so doing the top of the stove method, they can be ready in 5 minutes for sure. The roasted version has slightly more intense flavor. The second picture shows a similar approach (top of the stove), but using zucchini. Also very delicious.

I use farro a lot, but was a bit unsure about trying the pearled version, thinking it would not be nearly as good. I was wrong. It is a way to make farro a suitable option for a fast side dish after a busy day in the lab.

I hope you’ll give this simple recipe a try.

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  1. Pingback: PEARLED FARRO WITH ASPARAGUS COINS — Bewitching Kitchen – All About Writing and more

  2. I first had Farro as a soup in Italy a few years back and have come to love it for Vegetarian meals. ‘Roland’ Brand can be found on Amazon and I trust it. Buy Italian though, I believe it has a nuttier flavor. Farro is hearty and filling.

    This is not a recipe, just a guide… fly by the seat of your pants! I am a frugal cook and hate to waste food!

    1. Cook the farro as directed, but use broth or vegetable stock instead of water…Spread the cooked farro out on a pan to cool so it is not soggy. (You can warm it slightly before serving in the oven.)

    2. Roast/char any uncooked fresh leftover vegetables (Cauliflower and broccoli flowerets, green beans, tiny tomatoes, squash and zucchini (chunked), colored peppers (green, yellow, red) onions, peeled garlic cloves, sliced, pea pods, asparagus etc. toss in olive oil. salt and pepper (oregano) on parchment at 400 degrees until cooked and slightly charred.. Don’t burn!

    3. Place warm farro in a bowl or low serving platter and toss or top with the roasted vegetables with a healthy squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of good olive oil. Add shards or grate of your favorite Italian cheese(s) (Pecorino-Romano, Parmesan, or Asiago). Don’t skimp and more to pass. Finish with freshly chopped parsley. Great meal when you have little time and have small amounts of fresh vegetables left over in your frig.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting recipe as I use a lot of the ancient grains. That very much includes farro, but tho’ I often have pearled barley in hand have not used the pearled version of this . . . must see whether I can find ! About the vegetable component – I must admit U find asparagus such an elegant vegetable I do not like to cut it ever, but I shall try your method with zucchini slices I use at every opportunity , , , thanks !

    Liked by 1 person

    • yes I admit it is a sin to destroy the wholeness of the beautiful stalks, but I am always amazed by how the taste changes once you process a veggie in a different, unexpected way. It does turn into something a bit different, and I find that appealing, actually.. .Like spiral cutting zucchini? all of a sudden your mind is tricked into pasta territory!

      Liked by 1 person

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