The day I watched Glenn Roberts of Anson Mills processing farro on A Chef’s Life, I became obsessed with locally sourced and heirloom grains. The only heirloom farro grown in America comes from Anson Mills. You can find farro at your local grocery store or Trader Joes, but if you want to explore heirloom grains, place an order from Anson Mills. Try some new things! Cornmeal, grits, flour, Carolina gold rice, red peas… you just cannot go wrong. They also have a number of recipes and tips on their website for cooking with these products. Read through these recipes before you start experimenting. The products from Anson Mills are not your typical grocery store grains/rice. These are the real deal. These are the grains people were eating 200 years ago. So they may take a little longer to cook, they may require overnight soaking. But it is worth every bit of effort. These are freshly stone ground grains so they must also be stored in the freezer as well. It is incredibly sad how far the quality of our flours, grains, rice has fallen in the US for the sake of profits and efficiency. The only way to fix it is to support the pioneers like Glenn Roberts, who has basically brought back once lost heirloom varieties of grits, rice, and farro, just to name a few.
The farro here takes the place of pasta which makes this dish much healthier, in my opinion. One serving of farro has upwards of 7 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. Not to mention it contains a number of other vitamins – thiamine, iron, niacin, zinc. It is also 100% whole grain (if you believe in the whole grain voodoo). Farro is much more complex than your traditional white pastas, it does have carbs but they burn slower. This meal will stick with you and keeps extremely well in the fridge or freezer for future lunches. When prepping lunches, I put this in containers with lima beans or green beans. This recipe actually makes a lot and I froze an entire 28 oz container with cheese sprinkled on top, ready to go for a last minute meal.