Farro with Wild Mushrooms and Herbs

Farro with Wild Mushrooms and HerbsThe culinary world is kinda crazy.

As with a lot of things in life, there are one-hit wonders and crazy trends, and once we find the latest and greatest everyone jumps on the bandwagon. Coconut water anyone?

One thing that makes me laugh is how restaurants, producers, chefs, retailers, etc. can take something that is by no means new and make it sound like this incredibly amazing discovery. Quinoa falls into this category. The Incans cultivated quinoa for thousands of years. It’s not new, it’s just new to us.

It is the same with farro. This ancient grain is a form of wheat, and it fed the Roman empire for centuries. A year ago most people didn’t know what it was. Now it’s everywhere. You find it in salads and soups. It’s served as a savory side dish. You name it and I am sure you can use farro in it, with it or on it.

Personally, I love farro. I especially like the nutty flavor with roasted meats. And now that the season is changing, I find myself choosing farro as an easy-to-make side for most roasted meats. It’s a great substitute for plain old rice. In my opinion, it’s best to keep it simple so that the hearty flavor comes through. Sure there are tasty farro salads with mango and other exotic combinations, but sometimes less is more. Below is the first recipe I used to make farro. I occasionally leave out the mushrooms, and it still tastes good. I’ve tried others since, but this is the recipe I always come back to.

So if you wanna try something new with dinner tonight, I would recommend a little farro. Jump on board this bandwagon…you’ll be glad you did.
Enjoy!  

Farro with Wild Mushrooms and Herbs
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Serves 8

Ingredients
2 cups semi-pearled farro
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons (or more) olive oil
4 cups assorted fresh mushrooms (such as chanterelle, porcini, lobster, maitake, and crimini), cut into 1″ pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

Directions
Cook the farro in boiling, salted water until it is tender (about 20 minutes). Drain, let cool, and set it aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. The oil should be very hot to crisp the mushrooms). Working in batches, place a single layer of mushrooms in skillet. Cook, turning once, until crisp and cooked through, 4–5 minutes. Add more oil as it is needed. Transfer to a plate; season with salt and pepper.

Bring the broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the farro and cook, stirring often, until heated through. Season the farro with salt and pepper. Add butter and stir vigorously to combine and create a creamy texture. Add mushrooms, parsley, chives, and thyme; stir just to evenly incorporate. Serve immediately.

Do Ahead: Farro can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill

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