Mushroom farro is a hearty winter comfort food to me. The addition of black truffle oil makes this simple dish even more delicious. Farro is an ancient grain from Mesopotamia that has been around forever. Considered a nutritious grain, farro is high in protein, fiber and B complex vitamins, and is considered a much healthier alternative to white rice or other refined grains. Cooked farro looks similar to barley but has a slightly firmer texture. This recipe is not elaborate, and only has a few ingredients; but in my eyes, that is all you need. Cremini mushrooms bring out the earthy, nutty flavor of this hearty grain. Garlic and black truffle oil combine to render a subtle, yet slightly more complex flavor profile. As far as grains go, farro is extremely versatile and can be eaten alone, such as in this grain bowl, or incorporated into stews, salads and soups. Farro can also be mixed with fruit and cream and eaten in a similar style to granola or muesli, and is a generally considered great cereal alternative for breakfast.
To soak or not to soak? The answer: either is okay. Some suggest soaking farro in a bowl of cold water to speed the cooking process. Personally, I prefer not to soak it before cooking because farro does not actually take that long to cook. I do, however, rinse the farro well beforehand, as is recommended for most grains. Farro does not expand as much as rice or barley and can be made stove top, in the oven or even in a slow cooker. Served as is in the form of a grain bowl or as a side dish to accompany your favorite protein, this simple dish does not disappoint.
Mushroom Farro With Truffle Oil
- For the Farro:
- 1 cup farro
- 4 cups stock, chicken or vegetable
- 1 tablespoon Urbani black truffle oil
- 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil, divided
- For the Mushrooms:
- 2 cups wild mushrooms of your choice, thinly sliced, or cut in half
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
- 1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup blanched spinach, squeezed and roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Step 1 For the Farro: Place the farro in a mesh sieve and rinse with cold water. Drain well and set aside.
- Step 2 Transfer the farro to a medium size saucepan. Add the chicken stock and a dash of salt. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 25-30 minutes until softened but still slightly chewy. Remove from the heat and drain any remaining liquid.
- Step 3 For the Mushrooms: Place a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add two tablespoons of oil. When hot, but not smoking, add the sliced mushrooms. Allow to cook, undisturbed for a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds longer. Remove form the heat.
- Step 4 Add the cooked farro to the mushrooms. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, pepper, truffle oil, parmesan cheese, chopped spinach and parsley, toss well to coat. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve warm or room temperature.