Wednesday, February 27, 2013

CALIFORNIA WALNUTS: Farro with Carrots and Shallot-Walnut Gremolata

Hello! Last post I was raving about Meyer lemons and now I another California gem for you: walnuts! California Walnuts recently invited me to participate in their very first Virtual Dinner Party to help introduce their Chef Menus At Home Collection! I was so excited to be invited and especially thought it was another nice welcoming to my new home being in California. Cool fact:

  • California grows more than 99% of the country’s supply and two-thirds of the world’s walnut trade

We were asked to pick one recipe from the Chef Menus At Home Collection  and make it for the party! It was so hard for me to choose one recipe because they all looked really good! Go check out their page because it's a wonderful resource for recipes using those omega-3 heart healthy walnuts! I chose to make Aida Mollenkamp's Farro with Carrots and Shallot-Walnut Gremolata. Aida's cooking style is considered West Coast eclectic focusing on whole foods based recipes. Her new cookbook Keys To The Kitchen is an approachable technique based cookbook with over 300 original recipes. You all will have a chance to win your own copy very soon.......

If you've never used farro before this is a great chance to try it! Farro is a fantastic nutty Italian grain. I bought mine at Sur La Table when I worked there but I saw it the other day at Costco and have also seen it in the bulk section at Whole Foods. This recipe is supposed to be a side dish but we enjoyed it last night for dinner as our main dish. I loved how fresh this was and the addition of the cumin, cinnamon and shallot oil gave it such great flavor. The recipe is fairly easy to make (just make sure you get everything mise en place, meaning have all your ingredients all set to go beforehand). It is slightly time consuming but would make such a great dish to bring to a party or potluck. The fried shallots in olive oil are delicious and such a treat. The only thing I would change in the recipe is to say to use larger shallots for the ones that are going to be thinly sliced and fried. That's just because I liked them so much and wanted bigger bites of them!

I ate this for lunch and had more for dinner at night! Here's the recipe and come back soon for the giveaway and your chance to win!

Farro with Carrots and 
Shallot-Walnut Gremolata

1 1/2 cups semi-pearled farro
1/4 pound haricot verts (slim green beans), cut into 1-inch lengths (about 1 cup)
1 cup olive oil
5 shallots—2 thinly sliced, 3finely chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt
1/2 pound carrots, small dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Zest and juice from 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
1 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped (about 4 ounces)
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a medium pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat, stir in the farro, decrease heat to medium and simmer until the farro is al dente, about 20 minutes. Add the haricot verts and allow to cook until bright green, about 1 minute. Drain and spread farro and haricot verts on a baking sheet to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over high heat. In a bowl, toss the sliced shallots with the flour, separating them into rings. Transfer the shallots to a strainer and tap off the excess flour.
  3. Once the oil is hot -- you can test it by dropping one shallot ring in and seeing if small bubbles form on the edges --add the shallots, lower heat to medium-high, and fry, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried shallots to paper towels to drain thoroughly; season lightly with salt.
  4. Pour off and reserve (in a heatproof container) all but 1 tablespoon of the oil from the saucepan, return pan to the stove over medium-high heat. Add the remaining chopped shallots, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add carrots and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of the reserved shallot oil, stir in the garlic, cumin, and cinnamon and cook until fragrant. Add half of the parsley and fry briefly, about 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat.
  6. Combine farro, haricot verts, carrot mixture, vinegar, lemon juice, 3/4 cup of the walnuts, and 3 tablespoons of the reserved shallot oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir to mix thoroughly.
  7. Mix together fried shallots, remaining walnuts, remaining (unfried) parsley, and lemon zest, sprinkle over the top of the farro and serve as a side or main dish!


DISCLAIMER: This post was sponsored by California Walnuts. I received walnuts and cookbooks for my participation in this post. All opinions expressed here are my own. 


  1. I LOVE grain-based salads! And this one sounds majorly much great spice and flavor.

    1. You'll have to try it Joanne! The cumin and cinnamon are really good in it!


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