I’ve been meaning to stretch out my pretty strict Paleo diet to include a few grains not white flour but some of the more ancient grains like spelt and kamut. WHY?? I like to eat what my family eats and vice versa so having a few dependable old grains to throw in the menu rotation helps a LOT. When the occasion came up for me to TRY a new old grain I’d never eaten before I jumped at the chance. The opportunity came from Tuscan Fields who provided 50 bloggers with samples of their organic imported Farro and the chance to win a scholarship to Eat Write Retreat, an amazing conference for food writers being held this year in Philadelphia!

I did a bit of digging around about Tuscan Fields Farro, it’s some good stuff people. First it’s organic and the farm where it is grown, Fattoira Pieve al Salti in Tuscany, has been organic for about 14 years now. They produce 3,000 tons of farro a year, (plus  many other crops and products) and they ALSO process the farro on the farm, all while running a thriving tourist farm too. I want to go there NOW please. Yes and especially now because it’s snowing ANOTHER foot out there right now, in April.

My recipe takes the nutty delicious flavor of farro mixes with garlicky  sauteed vegetables and makes it a bed for a FABULOUS piece of pesto glazed Alaskan Red Salmon. It’s pristine wild caught salmon meets organically grown ancient grain in a delicious Alaska-Italy salute. It’s quick, tasty and sure to impress everyone even your kids. And that is saying something because Alaskan kids are never impressed by salmon come April, by April they are d.o.n.e. with salmon.

Pesto Glazed Salmon on a bed of Garlicky Farro
oven 375˚

water for cooking the faro-will need 3 cups boiling
1 9 ounce box of Tuscan Fields Farro Alle Verdure–Farro with Farm Vegetables
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds wild caught red salmon fillets
2 TBSP pesto
1 TBSP cooking
4 gloves of garlic, minced
1 market bunch of curly kale, ribs removed and chopped to bit sized pieces
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1 TBSP chopped oil packed sun dried tomatoes

preheat the oven to 375˚
boil the water discard all but 3 cups
mix it with the farro and salt in the pan used to boil the water
reduce heat let and it simmer, covered, about 20 minutes, stir occasionally
meanwhile rinse the salmon and pat it dry
cut it into 6 serving sized pieces
place it skin side down on baking sheet
divide the pesto evenly over the top and sides of the salmon pieces
bake it in the oven for approximately 15 minutes-longer if necessary
while the salmon is cooking and the farro is simmering heat the cooking oil in a medium size skillet over medium heat
toss in the garlic and let it cook until fragrant, do not let it burn
once it hits lightly browned add the chopped kale and cook until softened
add the peppers and sun dried tomatoes, stir to heat through
turn off the heat until the farro is done
when the farro is done and the cooking water gone stir in the garlicky kale mixture
cover to keep warm
when the salmon is done remove it from the oven
dived the farro between 6 plates
carefully lift each piece of salmon from the baking dish by sliding a spatula between the skin and the salmon itself
set it gently atop the farro on each plate
serve while hot
stand back there may be pushing involved

A few notes

  • I made this pesto from African Basil (purplish)last summer–it is darker than store bought pesto so don’t worry if yours is lighter
  • salmon takes roughly 10-15 minutes per inch of thickness to cook–adjust your cooking time accordingly perhaps even starting the salmon BEFORE the farro to allow for bigger fillets-like king salmon size
  • go ahead and mix up your vegetables just remember to have them cooked so they can be added directly to the cooked farro and ready to serve

Thanks Tuscan Fields AND Eat Write Retreat my family thoroughly enjoyed trying out a new old grain. Thanks for the chance and I hope we get to hang out in Philadelphia in a few weeks. I was given no compensation for this except the chance to try farro and the chance to win a trip to Philadelphia. The opinions and thoughts are mine.