While farro is not gluten free, it’s a delicious grain to add to a salad, soup, or grain bowl, and can be a great substitute for other grains such as pasta. Learn more about the farro grain and the different ways you can use it!
What Is Farro?
Farro is a general Italian term for wheat. This includes the ancient wheat varieties of Spelt, Einkorn, and Emmer wheat with origins that can be traced back to the Fertile Crescent (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine). In the food world, if you order farro, you could be getting any variation on those three ancient grains: from a whole grain kernel to something that has been pearled. At Bob's Red Mill, our farro is made from spelt that has been lightly scored.
Is Farro a Whole Grain?
Our farro, like many in the market, is not technically a whole grain. It has been lightly scored to facilitate the release of starches when cooking. Only the smallest amount of bran is removed in this process, but any loss prevents it from being classified as whole grain. When cooked, the kernel almost pops open and releases starch. This makes a perfect ingredient for dishes like risotto (often called farrotto when using the farro grain) where you want the ancient grain to soften over time and create a creamy dish.
Is Farro Gluten Free?
No, farro is not gluten free. Regardless of which variety of wheat farro is made from, they all contain gluten.
How Do You Use Farro?
Farro can be used in a variety of ways, from sweet to savory recipes. At its most basic, farro can make a lovely addition to soups, salads, and pilafs, but there are many recipes available that take farro above and beyond the basic.
Substitutions for Farro
The ancient grain farro is very versatile and can be replaced in most recipes with spelt berries, wheat berries, and Kamut® berries. If you want a gluten free substitute, sorghum, brown rice, or oat groats will all make good replacements in most recipes. When replacing farro, keep in mind the cooking time and applications. For instance, replacing farro in a cold grain salad is simple: almost any grain will work in place of another for this kind of dish. If, however, you're adding uncooked farro to a soup or some other farro recipe, you'll want to account for the cooking time of the grain you plan to use instead.
Our Favorite Ways to Enjoy Farro:
- Farro Caprese Salad
- Italian Farro, Ricotta and Orange Cake
- Farrotto (pictured above)
- Roasted Radish and Farro Salad
- Mediterranean Farro Salad
- Grilled Asparagus and Lemon Farro Salad: Flavor the Moments
- Farro Seafood Paella: Hungry Food Love
- Cold Farro Salad with Feta and Green Beans: Keys to the Cucina
- Farro Risotto with Mushrooms, Asparagus and Goat Cheese: Delicious Dishings
- Farro with Spinach, Lemon, Basil and Pinenuts: Eating Rules