Like rice, farro is such a versatile grain that’s good in anything from soups to salads to stuffings. Because it can be used in a lot of the same ways as rice, it led me to ponder what it might be like substituted for rice in a pudding.
The result? I think the photos speak for themselves, but this was delightful. Like rice, the farro made a thick creamy pudding, but unlike rice, farro has a marvelous nutty flavor that gives this pudding far more character than rice pudding. Cooked with a whole vanilla bean and topped with some freshly grated nutmeg, this pudding makes for a marvelously comforting end to a rustic meal.
Substitute soy milk and maple syrup for a vegan pudding, or add some cocoa powder to make a chocolate farro pudding. Top it with rum-soaked raisins, or brulee some sugar on top for a fancier dessert, or go with some fresh fruit, and nuts for a decadent breakfast cereal.
While it does take about an hour on the stove, with four basic ingredients and not much effort beyond an occasional stir, this is probably one of the easiest desserts I’ve ever made.
- 3/4 cup semi-perlato farro
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
- nutmeg to serve
- Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until the farro is very tender and the pudding has thickened (about 50-60 minutes).
- Serve hot or chill overnight in the refrigerator for a cold pudding. Dust with a little freshly grated nutmeg to serve.
- If the pudding gets too hard after chilling, just stir in a bit of milk to achieve the desired consistency.
Yield: 4 small servings
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.