The creamy farro with honey-roasted grapes from Maria Speck’s Ancient Grains for Modern Meals was absolutely delicious. I never would’ve thought to eat farro for breakfast, but why not? It cooks up like oatmeal and has a taste and texture similar to wheat berries, nutty and a bit chewy. The cinnamon, anise, and vanilla gave off a lovely, warm aroma, and the hit of cream made this healthy, hearty breakfast more rich and satisfying. The warm, honeyed grapes were a great complement. Other fruits like pears, plums, blueberries (whatever’s in season) would work well, too, and I might try replacing the cream with soy milk for a still-creamy, lower-fat version.
Creamy Farro with Honey-Roasted Grapes from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals: Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes for Barley, Farro, Kamut, Polenta, Wheat Berries & More by Maria Speck (Ten Speed, Apr.)
2 cups water
1 cup farro
1 teaspoon anise seeds
1 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
Pinch of fine sea salt
Roasted Grapes, and to finish
3 cups seedless red grapes (1 ¼ pounds)
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons honey, plus extra for serving
½ cup heavy whipping cream or half-and-half
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon, for sprinkling
1. To prepare the faro, bring the water, faro, anise seeds, cinnamon stick, and salt to a boil in a heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the faro is tender but still slightly chewy, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick, drain any remaining liquid, and return the faro to the saucepan.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the roasted grapes. Position a rack 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the broiler for 5 minutes. Spread the grapes on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the honey and toss to combine. Broil until the grapes just start to shrivel and release some juices as they burst, 5 to 7 minutes. Immediately transfer the grapes with their juices to a heatproof bowl.
3. To finish, add the cream and vanilla extract to the faro and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook until the cream thickens slightly, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons honey, add the grapes with their juices and cook just long enough to reheat the fruit, about 2 minutes. Divide among bowls, sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve warm with more honey on the side.
To get a head start: Make the faro, as in step 1, ahead. The grapes can also be roasted 1 day ahead. Chill, covered.
To vary it: If you like a bit more chewiness, try other berries from the heat family such as spelt, Kamut, or soft whole wheat. You will need a scant 3 cups.