Farro with Parsley Pesto and Golden Beets

In Apps, Snacks & Drinks, Family-friendly, Main Dishes by Frances Largeman-Roth


Makes 4 servings | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 25 min

A new year means lots of new ways to stay healthy! If you haven’t tried farro (also known as emmer), put it on your to do list for 2019. It’s an ancient form of wheat and has a wonderful, chewy texture. Also, I’m not vegan, but I wanted to try making pesto with nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan and it was actually amazing! Nutritional yeast contains protein and fiber, and is rich in B vitamins, like B12, and potassium. It’s also low in carbohydrates. You can also use it as a topping on popcorn, but I’ll save that for another post!


  • 4 medium golden beets, washed and trimmed
  • 2 cups dry farro, rinsed
  • 41/2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup shelled unsalted pistachios
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Wrap the beets tightly in foil and place them in a pie dish or on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour, until the beers are tender and can easily be pierced with a knife. Let cool completely. When cool, use a sharp paring knife to remove the skins. Cut into quarters and set aside. 
  2. Meanwhile, add the rinsed farro, water and salt into a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 25-30 minutes, until tender but still chewy. Drain any water that remains. Fluff and set aside.
  3. Make the pesto: Mince the garlic with the salt, sliding the flat side of your knife over the mixture to create a paste. Place the parsley, pistachios and yeast in the bowl of a food processor. Add the garlic paste and pulse to combine. With the processor running on low, slowly add in the olive oil to combine. 
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the pesto with 5 cups of the farro (use the remaining 2 cups for breakfast bowls or stir into soup). Place 11/4 cups of the farro into 4 bowls. Top each with 4 beet quarters. Drizzle a little EVOO and grind some black pepper on top, if you like, and serve. You can also store the farro for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Story the beets separately.