Farro Recipe: Prairie Farrotto

The last two weekends, we've been offering tastings of our favorite ancient grain: Farro. As I've mentioned before, our Prairie Farro is quite versatile. It's great in soups, salads or as hot cereal. It's a big, nutty, flavorful grain that feels hearty and healthy. 

Lately, I've been making quite a bit of "Farrotto" -- like risotto, only with Farro. The trick here is to pre-cook the Farro a little to open up the grain and get it ready to absorb all the goodness in which you're about to simmer it. (Our Prairie Farro takes a little longer to cook because it's the whole grain. Most other Farro or Emmer you might find in stores is cracked or pearled, which is fine if you want to shave off a little cooking time, but pearling does strip away some of the nutrients and fiber and flavor of the grain. We're big proponents of eating truly whole grains so we everything is there to do as nature intended it to do, so our grains are always whole.)

Here's a favorite version, but feel free to play around with spices, etc. 

Prairie Farrotto

1 cup Prairie Farro (Email us at farmer -at- prairieheritagefarm.com to order some. We ship!)
1 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic
½ onion, chopped
1 Stalk celery
1 medium carrot
1 cup broth
½ c dry white wine
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried sage (or basil or whatever strikes your fancy)
Parmesean cheese (for the top)
Fresh parsley (for the top)

  1. In large pot, boil Prairie Farro for 45 minutes to an hour, until tender and chewy. Drain. (I boil our Farro like you would pasta – in lots of water and then drained.)
  1. In heavy-bottomed large saucepan or pot, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until softened.
  2. Add celery and carrots and saute until glistening.
  3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and sage.
  4. Add Farro and stir, gently sauteeing the grain until shiny.
  5. Add wine, broth and bay leaves and turn heat down to a low simmer.
  6. Simmer for about 30 minutes to an hour, adding more broth and stirring as needed if grain gets dry.
  7. Serve hot and sprinkled with good, strong Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

The 2013 Season (Year 5 of ?)

By far, the biggest news of 2013 was the birth of our second child, a son we named Elias Leavy, who was born on May 9th. As I write this, he's a smiling, giggling, crawling, solid-food-eating little 8-month old. As when Willa was born (who is now 3), every day is an entirely new experience, fraught with challenges, but also delights. Sleep and routine are relative terms.

Courtney continues her part-time work in addition to teaching an online class for the University of Montana. I lobbied at the state legislature for a farm organization from January through April and taught an online class for UM as well. I also took on work as a substitute Postal Service rural mail carrier. That means that I deliver the mail when the main carrier is sick or takes vacation (about 30 days a year).

2013 was our first full season on our new farm. We had broken ground for the vegetables the previous fall, but felt we needed just a bit more room, so worked more ground in the spring. We have about 4 acres under cultivation. That ground also includes cover crops, milk thistle, our heritage and ancient wheat trials, and our dry flour corn.

Weeks in Photos


Cucumber seed.

High tunnel winter crops.

Low tunnel winter crops.


Planting garlic.

Turkeys on a fence.

White Bush Lebanese summer squash seed.

First winter CSA share.

Weeks in Photos

Buckwheat harvest.

Tom Thumb popcorn and Painted Mountain flour corn.
The final summer squash harvest.
The selections for seed of the Painted Mountain corn harvest.

Painted Mountain corn.

Red Kuri winter squash and White Bush Lebanese summer squash for seed.

Winter rye and hairy vetch germinated for a winter cover crop.

Tom Thumb popcorn.

Tom Thumb popcorn.

The first load of the winter squash and pumpkin harvest.

Weeks in Photos

A dog, two trucks, and a barn.

Swathing the Prairie Farro.

Hanging onions.

Harvesting the Rusak Heritage Wheat.

Milk thistle.
Unloading the Sonora Heritage Wheat.

Stare down with a new turkey mama.

Harvesting the Bronze Barley.

Milk thistle.

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