Recipe Challenge: A Fun Take on Farro, Your New Favorite Ancient Grain

Adapted from Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman

As I shared in my meal prep article, I love making a large batch of grains or beans to have throughout the week. I may add them to my favorite kale salad, or add a fried egg for a warm and savory grain bowl (bonus points for adding pickled onions, Greek yogurt, and your favorite hot sauce). This week, I’m sharing a slightly modified version of one of my favorite grain recipes: farro with toasted fennel, lemon, and fresh herbs. 

Makes 4 servings 


  • 1 cup dry farro (you could also substitute barley or freekeh if you like) 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ tablespoon fennel seeds 
  • 1 large fennel bulb, bulb stem thinly sliced, fronds reserved for garnish 
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • ½ cup fresh herbs, such as basil or dill 


  1. Cook farro according to package directions (with one cup of grains, you’ll likely use ~4 cups of water; add a generous pinch of salt). Once cooked (will take ~40 minutes, depending on the type of farro you’re using) drain the grains and set aside. 
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and fennel seeds, and cook stirring occasionally for about 3-4 minutes (until garlic starts to lightly brown). Add the sliced fennel bulb and half of the lemon slices. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fennel is tender and starting to caramelize, about 8 minutes. 
  3. Add cooked farro to the skillet/pot and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat with the caramelized fennel; cook for a few more minutes. Add remaining lemon slices and remove from heat. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with herbs and the reserved fennel fronds. Enjoy! 

Nutrition Facts (recipe serves 4): 190 calories, 4.5g fat, 33g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 5g protein

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