Farro with Broccoli Rabe Pesto

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 (Jane Bruce)

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Coming from a Barese family, eating broccoli rabe is non-negiotable — it's a staple. In my grandmother's town of Adelfia in Bari, Italy, the cousin of spinach and the sister to broccoli was on the table quite often. What wasn't on the table ever? Farro.


  • 1 bunch of broccoli rabe, cleaned and trimmed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoon Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated and divided
  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts, chopped and divided
  • 1 cup Italian farro
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Step 1

  • Steam the broccoli rabe and drain in a colander and let it rest for 3-4 minutes.

Step 2

  • When cool, chop lightly by hand and place the broccoli rabe, garlic, 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano, oil, and ½ of the walnuts in a food processor and blend until smooth but fairly thick.

Step 3

  • Put aside. boil the farro in a small pot until it is soft but still has a crunchy texture, about 10 minutes.

Step 4

  • In a sauté pan, bring 2 tablespoons of the pesto and the farro together. Top with remaining Parmigiano and cover with lid for 2 minutes. When serving, sprinkle with remaining walnuts, salt, and pepper, to taste.