Friday, August 26, 2011

Farro, Farro, Where for art thou Farro?

This has happened to me a of couple times before. Once with grape leaves and another with ladyfingers. I head to the grocery store and they don't have what I need so I go to several more grocery stores and still can't find what I need. Previously, I have cried in frustration. Serious tears people, I'm ashamed to admit. Now, I keep it together and try to substitute. This time, I couldn't find farro. Thank you Giada for noting in your cookbook that barley can be used instead. I must have stood in the rice aisle for at least 10 minutes trying to wish farro to appear but instead I left the store with barley. It was very yummy but I couldn't help but wonder with each bite how much yummier it would have been with farro. Alas, I will be purchasing farro on Amazon as well as quick coooking grits which I can't find anywhere either. Ugh!

Cheesy Baked Farro (Barley)
by Giada de Laurentiis


Vegetable cooking spray

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups warm whole milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
1 cup grated Gruyere
1/2 cup fontina cheese, grated
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups faro or barley, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
Olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

For the sauce: In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add the warm milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick and smooth, about 8 minutes (do not allow the mixture to boil). Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the farro: In a large bowl, add the cheeses and stir to combine. Remove 1/2 cup of the mixture and reserve. In a large stock pot, add the chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the farro, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the faro is tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, if necessary. Add the farro, thyme, and sauce to the bowl with the cheese. Stir until combined and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with the reserved 1/2 cup of cheese. Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake until the top is golden brown and forms a crust, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

It tastes better than it looks in this picture. I need more light in my kitchen.
*note I left out the tomatoes in this dish.


  1. I hate when you need an ingredient and the grocery store just doesn't carry it - so annoying! It still looks delicious, with or without farro!

    - Maggie

  2. I can imagine the frustration of not being able to find a specific ingredient! I've never heard of farro before! But now I'm interested- this looks really creamy and delicious!!

  3. I hate when that happens! Using barley instead looks like it was great, good call!