I’m having trouble getting started on this post.  It’s not writers block.  It’s because there are SO many things I want to write. This recipe makes me happy. I enjoy making it, eating it and sharing it.  It is, by far, the recipe I have shared the most.  I love to make it for people and encourage people to make it.  If you have a tomato plant, I’ve given you this recipe.  If you’ve eaten lunch or dinner at my house, I’ve made this for you and handed you a copy of the recipe. Pretty much if I’ve talked to you in the last year I’ve told you about this recipe, I can’t help myself – it’s that good. It should be no surprise that it’s a smitten kitchen recipe.  Simply put – Deb rocks.  She puts so much thought and time into a recipe before sharing. Her blog followers write the most helpful comments. Some of her posts have HUNDREDS of comments (467 for this recipe). The best way to search the comments for a specific questions (e.g.; can I use quinoa) is to use the “find” tool.  I just did that to find my comment – #336 – from July 28, 2013. I’m going to post the recipe here but check it out over on SK for notes on farro and how to substitute other grains. I have my own note on farro; don’t pay an arm and a leg for it.  Some stores price farro, quinoa and other “discovery” or “ancient” grains like they’re covered in 24K gold.  Shoprite has a store brand farro which is just fine.  Bob’s Red Mill carries it too.

Smitten Kitchen: One-pan farro with tomatoes , serves 4 as a side, 2 as a hearty main **I always double this recipe.

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 9 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp kosher or coarse sea salt
  • up to 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, to taste **Can be served as a topping if you’re worried about kiddos
  • 1 TBSP olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Few basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
  • Grated parmesan cheese, for serving

Rinse farro and place in a medium saucepan with the water.  Add each ingredient to the pot as you finish preparing it.  Cut onion in half again and very thinly slice it into quarter moons.  Thinly slice garlic. Halve or quarter tomatoes. Add salt, pepper flakes, and olive oil.  Set timer for 30 minutes.  Bring uncovered pan (NO LID necessary) up to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally.  When timer rings the farro should be perfectly cooked, tender with a meaty chew.  If needed, cook for additional 5 minutes.

Transfer to a wide serving bowl.  If there is a lot of cooking liquid leftover, use a slotted spoon to leave some behind.  Drizzle farro lightly with additional olive oil, scatter with basil and parmesan. **I always serve this out of the pot it cooked in.  It looks pretty the way Deb plates but if it’s just the family, save a dish.  I serve the basil, parmesan and additional red pepper flakes and allow people to top as they see fit.

This recipe is perfect as written but if you forget to add the garlic, your basil plant died and your husband ate all the red pepper flakes on his pizza it’s still very, very good.  I love this as a main served with a salad.  It’s also a great with sun-dried tomato and basil chicken sausage.