Friday, February 20, 2015

Farro with Wild Mushrooms – So Old it’s New

We don’t get to eat a lot of food that’s identical to what the ancient Romans would have eaten, which is one of the things that makes farro so fun. 

They must have had mushrooms and fermented cream back then, so it’s easy to imagine Cleopatra and Mark Antony enjoying this before an evening of who knows what.

You can buy dry farro in whole-grain form, but I prefer the “pearled” style, where the tougher outer layer has been polished down. Mine took about 40-45 minutes to cook, but that will depend on the brand you buy, as the sizes, and amount of polishing can vary.

I think this makes the perfect winter side dish, and while you could serve it as an entrée like a risotto, for me it’s much better as a co-star. It has a very unique, firm and chewy texture that makes it a great contrast for roasted or braised meat, but all by itself, it could get tiresome. That said, I hope you give this exciting “new” grain a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 portions:
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms (a small handful), *soaked, and chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
10 brown mushrooms, cubed
1/2 onion, small dice
2 clove minced garlic
salt to taste
1 heaping cup pearled farro
3 cups chicken stock, divided
2 tbsp crème fraiche
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
grated Parmigiano Reggiano

*Note: You can strain and use the soaking liquid in the dish, but after only 20 minutes it’s fairly weak, and I wanted the extra flavor of chicken broth, so I didn’t use it. If you soak them for a longer time, and/or want to stay vegetarian, then go for it.


Larry D said...

This looks really good - I will definitely put this on the menu. I assume it is 1 cup of farro. I think it was omitted from the ingredients. Larry D

Stefano Bart said...

Simply and delicious, as always... I cook the farro in similar way, but i like to add guanciale and a little splash of milk instead of crème fraiche. And a pinch of l'aquila saffron (have you seen ratatouille?)

Unknown said...

You are the Nero of your farro. Brilliant.

Angela said...

This looks like a great recipe for Farro. I can't wait to try it.

Unknown said...

Thank you! I bought Farro and this recipe is what I've been waiting for!

ET said...

Thanks, Chef. I love farro but this looks like a much improved version over what I have cooked before. One question on the creme fraiche...I can't find any cream that is not ultra pasteurized. In general, do you have any advice on what type of store is likely to stock "regular" cream?

ayo said...

Some white wine would prob be good for that first splash of liquid.

Unknown said...

@Eric Timm
Unless you have scruples about ultra-pasturized cream, it will work to make creme fraisch. I do it all the time.

Unknown said...

Hmmmm ... I heard that farro is what the pharaoh ate ... :-)

Unknown said...

Why did you add chicken broth in two steps?

Unknown said...

Hi Chef. Made this for my vegetarian wife and she absolutely loves it. As always, thanks for what you do.

Unknown said...

Having just done the crispy farro cakes I think this one will be on tonight's menue.

Adrienne said...

I'm not finding a "print button" anywhere that would give a clean copy of the recipe. Have I just missed it entirely?