It was about a year or so ago that I got really into Farro after reading this book, “Ancient Grains for Modern Meals“. I have made soup with it, used it as a plain side dish and of course, gone the Farro Salad route.

Up until this point, I had only used whole Farro and never even realized that there was a semi-pearled variety available (dramatically cuts down on cooking time!) which is also called Perlato.

If you aren’t familiar with Farro, this woman has a great breakdown and a funny story about cooking it here.

Anyway, there is a brand of Organic semi-pearled Farro from Italy called Tuscan Fields that offered to send me a couple boxes of their Farro to try. The deal is that they are offering a scholarship to next month’s Eat, Write, Retreat conference which is conveniently being held in my hometown of Philadelphia, PA. So, I agreed to create a recipe using their Organic Farro and up my chances of winning. I would love to attend Eat, Write, Retreat – particularly in Philly!

Since Farro is considered “Italian Barley”, I wanted to pay homage to it’s roots with this dish. This is a hearty side dish with an earthy flavor profile and nice mix of textures.

Although they are expanding, Tuscan Fields is mostly sold in the Midwest and on the East Coast at this point. If you want to try Farro and can’t find their Organic Farro Perlato, look for it in the bulk bins. Just make sure you get the Perlato or semi-pearled!

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Farro + Caramelized Onions with Crispy Kale




4 Points Plus Per Serving — Individual Serving is ½ Cup Cooked Farro and Onions topped with ⅛ of Crispy Kale — Serves 8 (as a side dish)
Serves: 8

  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon organic butter (or olive oil)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1½ cups uncooked semi-pearled Farro
  • ½ teaspoon Sherry Vinegar (or more to taste)
  • 1 head (8-ounces) Lacinato Kale, stems removed, cut into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • sprinkle of salt for Kale

  1. The Crispy Kale can be prepared in advance or first. I used the method posted in my Everyday Kale Chips recipe except that I substituted the 2 teaspoons of olive oil listed above in place of the non-stick cooking spray. I wanted the olive oil flavor on the Kale as a topping. I also cut the Kale into smaller pieces than I normally do for Kale Chips. Long, thin strips would be nice too!
  2. Peel, quarter and thinly slice the onion.
  3. Heat a large dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add butter and then onions.
  4. Cook onions 35 to 40 minutes, stirring frequently until brown and caramelized.
  5. Add stock, salt, pepper and red pepper to the caramelized onions and bring to a boil.
  6. Add Farro, stir, lower heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 25 to 30 minutes until almost all of the liquid is absorbed.
  7. Finish by stirring in Sherry vinegar and adjust seasoning to taste.
  8. Serve a hot scoop of the cooked Farro and onions with the Crispy Kale on top and Enjoy!

Farro Side Dish with Kale from