Ancient Grains: Einkorn Pilaf with Lemon

I have a new grain to love in my life.  It’s called einkorn (or einkorn farro) and it’s basically an ancient version of our modern wheat.  Before I get into the health benefits, I want to let you know that it is chewy, nutty, and 100% delicious.

Ok, so now that we have the matter of taste cleared up, I’m going to make the case for why you should think about including einkorn at your next meal.  You may have heard that our modern version of wheat is a genetically altered strain that was created to increase yield and profit.  The problem is that it is also much worse for us than its ancestors; it spikes our blood sugar, causes heart disease, and makes us gain weight.  Dr. William Davis makes a good case for this in his book “Wheat Belly“.   Now, I can’t say that I’m ready to jump off the wheat wagon completely.  I like my pizza and bagels (though I’m on day 7 of my 21-day “no sugar or white flour” challenge!) and I don’t want to envision a future in which I never eat those things again.  BUT, it’s interesting food for thought and a good reason to explore some alternative options.  Along with its good taste, einkorn packs a nutritional punch!


Eat up!

Served with a pork chop and spicy arugula salad.

Einkorn Pilaf with Lemon
makes 6-8 servings

– 2 cups einkorn farro, soaked overnight and rinsed
– 1 Tbsp butter
– 1 medium onion, finely chopped
– 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
– bay leaf
– 1 medium carrot, quartered and thinly sliced
– 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped into small cubes
– 3 scallions, thinly sliced then roughly chopped, white and light green parts only
– zest of 1 small lemon
– salt, to taste

I recommend soaking the einkorn overnight.  This increases digestibility and shortens cooking time.  If you do not have time to soak it, keep in mind that your cooking time will be increased.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and stir to coat with butter.  Sprinkle with a little salt and cook until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes.

Add einkorn, broth, and bay leaf.  Increase heat to medium-high and cover pot with a tightly fitting lid.  Cook for about 15 minutes, until einkorn is soft but still chewy, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat to medium.  Add the carrot, stir, and cover pot to cook for 5 more minutes.  Add the bell pepper, cover pot, and remove from heat.  Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes.

Before serving, add scallions, lemon and more salt, if needed.  Serve warm.

* I added this post to this week’s Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Real Food 101, Just Another Meatless Monday, Fat Tuesday, Traditional Tuesdays, Foodie Friday, and Monday Mania.