warm farro, apple, & chestnut salad (autumn side dish)

we’re eating so much more intentionally these days!  if we’re going to create a dish, we want to really dig into its nutritional benefits.  here are some thoughts on farro:

“Farro -Chewy, wheat-like grains that taste similar to barley

Origin: Egypt

Why It’s Healthy:
In addition to vitamins B and E, farro is rich in magnesium—which Los Angeles–based dietitian Ashley Koff calls nature’s muscle relaxant. She recommends adding farro to your diet to relieve tension and cramps.”  (source)

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Warm Farro, Apple, & Chestnut Salad

by Angela Sackett, November, 2013


2 cups farro, uncooked

1 cup each water, chicken broth, and apple cider

1 cup chestnuts, chopped

3 tablespoons salted butter, divided

2 chopped green apples (skins left on)

1/2 large red onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 cup shredded gruyere cheese

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

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Begin by adding farro, water, broth, and cider to a medium sized saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until most liquid is evaporated and farro is “al dente.”  Scoop cooked grains into a strainer and cool.


Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-low heat in a nonstick skillet.  After several minutes, it will begin to foam, then turn golden brown.  Add the chopped chestnuts to the pan and continue cooking until chestnuts begin to brown and crisp.  Remove from heat; set aside.

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Next, in the same pan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and add onion, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cloves.  When the onion begins to turn translucent (about 3 minutes), add apples.  Cook until apples just begin to brown but are still slightly crisp. 

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 (at this point my second, my skeptic, announced that “apples an onions shouldn’t be cooked together, mom…”  has he MET me??  bide your time, my son… we shall see…)warm farro and apples and chestnuts_e_dancing with my father

Lightly toss apple mixture, then chestnuts, into farro.  Stir in gruyere. 

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did we say gruyere?  hellooooo, warm, smoky, favorite cheese of all time…

(please don’t tell the goat cheese i said that.  or the stilton.  or the aged gouda…)

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Serve topped with pomegranate seeds.

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it’s always helpful when photographing food, to have an amazing, super-professional assistant.  mine is also one of my premiere taste-testers.  always the first in line.  and always with a smile (even if, a split second prior, he was grumpily complaining his arms hurt from holding a diffuser against the blustery autumn breezes on our deck…)

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i’m seriously thinking i need to enter this somewhere.  a contest.  my always-saying-I’m-going-to-write cookbook.  oh wait, i can!  and you can, too!

mccormick gourmet is hosting a super-fun contest this season

make it.  eat it.  tell me what you think!

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2 Comment

  1. Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Yum! I have farro in my pantry and I’ve yet to do anything with it- I may have to give this a try!

    1. Reply
      November 5, 2013 at 4:31 am

      YES – try it, Nora! You will love it. 🙂

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