Picnic Farro Recipe

Otis T Bumblegus

  • 500g perlato (pearled) farro
  • 3 large carrots
  • 5 firm grappolo tomatoes
  • 1 pack of dolce peppers
  • 1 box of fresh basil
  • 1 mini can of corn
  • 300g (or more) of piccante (spicy) provolone cheese
  • 2 lemons
  • Salt & pepper
  • Spices: dried basil, oregano, parsley, crushed red pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil


So you’re going on a picnic. Well isn’t that just precious. Oh, everyone is supposed to bring food? Don’t wimp out by picking up pizza al taglio or be the lame duck that brings napkins. Put on your big boy pants and make this super easy picnic farro.

First thing you’re gonna do is cut up all those fresh ingredients. Peel the carrots. I mean Brazilian wax these hombres. Make ‘em as smooth as a lubed up catheter. Chop those shaved babies into quarter-inch rounds. Lay each one flat and dice by cutting it 4-5 times horizontally and vertically. Set the diced carrots aside for later.

Nobody pronounces it toh-MAH-toh. It’s tomato. Take each tomato and cut off the top and the bottom. Then cut it in half so it looks like you’ve got two letter D’s. Heh. Double D’s. Cut from the inside to get the seeds and goop out of there and don’t look back. It’s as useless as my Classics degree. Dice the outer portions into centimeter-by-centimeter sized squares. I will know if you don’t make them even, and with God as my witness I will strike you down. Awesome. Set aside for later.

Get those dolce peppers out. More colorful than Prince’s wardrobe, right? Too soon? Boo-frickin-hoo. Get all those seeds and the bland white parts out with your handy knife. Dice the peppers into tiny squares. Be sure not to let the oil from the peppers get into your eye. Or ignore that warning. Do it. Put a pepper right on your cornea. I couldn’t care less. Set the diced peppers aside for later.

We’re gonna do something fancy here. Jk. It’s simple but people think it’s refined. Take a few of the fresh basil leaves, stack them on top of each other, then roll them up into each other. Chop the rolls into thin strips in the same direction as the leaves were rolled. Continue to chiffonade the rest of the basil. Congratulations, you can go on Iron Chef now. Set that sexy basilico aside for later.

Corn. Open a mini can of corn. Drain it. Set the corn aside for later. Voila. The only thing easier than that was sneaking alcohol into Gianicolo.

Now it’s time to be like me after Chinese food and cut the cheese. Break out that bad boy piccante cheese that your mother tells you is no good for you, but you just can’t fight the way your heart feels. Just freaking dice it into small cubes. Smaller. Yeah, smaller than that. I said small, numbnuts. Finally. Thank you. Set it aside for later.

Take two lemons and roll them between your palms to get the juices flowing. Chop each lemon in half and squeeze all the juice into a small bowl. Get the seeds out, unless you want to eat seeds Set aside for later.

Now that we’re finally done with all the prep, let’s cook. Start by putting some water on to boil. I don’t know exactly how much – use plenty. Don’t be that dumb-dumb that puts in like half a liter. Be smart. You’re gonna want to make that water as salty as the coochie of that octopus lady from The Little Mermaid. Yeah, pour it in. That’s what I’m talking about. Don’t be scared. Keep going, baby. The safe word is “rhinoceros.” Pour the farro into your colander and rinse it off. A colander is a “strainer”, you idiot.

Once the water is boiling with anger like a grammar Nazi that noticed a misused semicolon, dump in the farro. Stir it around. Reduce heat to low-ish or something like that and cover. It’s gonna cook like pasta, but there’s really no need to stir it around in the same way. Keep that lid on. If it starts to boil over, reduce the heat and take off the lid until it settles down. Hell, it doesn’t even need the lid – I just think it just cooks better if you do use it. But what do I know. I’m a college kid. It usually cooks in about 15 minutes or so. Just be tasting it along the way and you can tell when it’s done by actually eating some of it, because that’s the smart thing to do. Don’t even get me started on those turds that throw pasta against the wall to see if it sticks. Those are the people that are ruining us. When it’s done, strain it in the colander. Leave it there.

Now take a giant saute pan and set the heat to medium-high. Throw in the carrots and corn. Let ‘em saute until the carrots become soften and become aromatic. If you need to know what that means, drop out of college immediately. Add in the peppers and tomatoes and continue cooking until the tomatoes lose some of their firmness. It should look like a Viagra commercial in reverse. Ideally there should be some browning on the carrots and tomatoes. Now add in the cooked farro. Mix all the ingredients around so the veggies are mixed evenly throughout. Yes, I know tomatoes are fruits. Shut up. Drizzle in some extra virgin olive oil. Rachael Ray calls it EVOO. I call it the nectar of the gods.

Now spice this ish up. Use the salt and pepper shakers like Shake Weights and get it all in there. Be gluttonous but not stupid. Add in way more dried basil and oregano and parsley than you think is necessary. Trust me. If you’re not a scaredy cat like my girlfriend, grind in some crushed red pepper. That’s it, baby. Oh yeah. Mix it all around again then throw in the fresh basil. Like actually throw it. Wind up from halfway across the kitchen and chuck it. When it’s all getting toasty and there’s some browning texture appearing on farro, turn off the heat and break out the biggest bowl you have.

Dump the farro mix into said bowl and add in the piccante cheese cubes. Mix it all about and watch in wonder as the cheese melts and spreads throughout the mix like an invasive species. Once nicely mixed and it looks all pretty, drizzle in the lemon juice. There. You can cook. You’re welcome. Now get to the picnic. You’re running late. You’re always late, you lazy turd.

Total price: under 15 euro, excluding spices.

Makes 6-8 servings.


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