Have you heard of emmer? How about Farro? Well farro is the better known Italian name for emmer. Emmer is a heirloom ancient grain that is a cross between einkorn and a wild grass.
Emmer has a deep, earthy, mildly sweet flavour. As a flour, it produces amazing breads, muffins and scones. As a whole grain, emmer is delicious with vegetables, legumes or beans. You can use emmer as you would wheat berries and it’s chewiness is prefect for salads, grain bowls and soups.
Just like any other grain, soaking for 24 hours before cooking neutralizes phytic acid, acts as pre-digestion and allows available enzymes to act on the grain.
I love baking and cooking with ancient grains. My favourites are emmer, khorasan wheat (Kamut), red fife and the better known rye and spelt. I am lucky enough to have a good supply of ancient grains from my dad who is an organic farmer.
Since it is feeling more and more like spring and summer these days I made this amazing Farmers Market Farro Salad recipe from Flourist.
Farmer's Market Farro Salad
3 cups chopped cauliflower
1/2 cup shelled fresh peas
2 cups cooked Farro
1 cup cooked French Lentils
1/2 cup hopped fresh basil
Shaved fresh parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
Combine the chopped cauliflower with 4 cups of cold water in a saucepan. Bring the water to a slow boil and cook the cauliflower until just tender, about 4 minutes. When cooked, drain and rinse the cauliflower and set aside.
Combine all of the salad ingredients and dress to taste. Serve with or without grated fresh cheese, and plenty of extra fresh basil for garnish.