Finding Thyme to Cook

Thyme is of the Essence

Farro with Herbs and Cheese

Farro with Herbs & Cheese

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

When I was trying to cut down on carbs, which included pasta, I became intrigued with other grains – Couscous, Quinoa and Farro.   Seemed like healthy whole grain goodness, so I decided to try one of them. Being rather lazy, I picked couscous.   The only good thing about couscous for me was that it as indeed easy to make.  On to Quinoa.


Before that experiment, a friend of my mine told me if you don’t like couscous, you won’t like Quinoa, so I moved on to Farro. I was hesitant to try it because the only Farro I could find was not cheap and I didn’t want to end up with an expensive pile of cardboard mush.


Then one Saturday morning, when there wasn’t a sporting event on TV and I was able to commandeer the remote, I turned on Food Network. There was Giada making a Farro dish for some of her friends who were loading up on carbs before some sort of 10K or marathon.   Since my running days are over (actually they never began), I almost passed on the recipe, but Giada made it look so delicious.  So I raided the piggy bank, bought the Farro and tried it that weekend.   It almost prompted me to go out and run a few miles . .  . almost.


I first made it as a side dish with chicken breasts. Then I made it as a side dish with pork chops. Then I fried an egg and put it on top of the leftovers the next morning. Then I ate the leftovers cold out of the fridge. Get the picture?  This is really good stuff and healthy!!!  It may make you go out and run a marathon!!



  • Butter for baking dish

  • 1 pound farro

  • 4 cups water

  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar

  • 2 cups grated mozzarella

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 3 tablespoons Herbes de Provence

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon pepper

  • 4 ½ inch thick slices of multi-grain bread torn into ½ inch pieces

  • olive oil


Preheat oven to 400 and put rack in center. Butter a 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Set aside


Farro – Bring farro, stock water and salt to boil in large saucepan or stockpot, over medium-high heat.


Reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer for about 25 minutes until tender. Drain in a colander.


While cooking, mix together the cheeses, milk, Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper.


Add cooked and drained Farro and stir until coated.


Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish.


Arrange bread pieces on top of the farro mixture and drizzle with olive oil.


Bake for 20 minutes until top is golden brown. Let sit for 5 minute and serve.


Print recipe


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