Farro is one of those foods that my husband and I have agreed to disagree on. I happen to love it and like to use farro in place of pasta when cooking lunch for myself in the afternoon. But my husband is just, meh. The one time I got him to eat it was when I mixed cooked farro into a bowl of foggy day chili. And then he only liked it because he could cover it with cheese. :)
The munchkin, he sometimes likes farro. You know how it is with almost three-year-olds. Today they love it. Tomorrow they’re all: “Good god woman, what are you feeding me?!”
But if you’re interested in mixing things up in the kitchen, give farro a go! This ancient grain has a nutty flavor and slightly chewy texture that makes it perfect with herbs and mozzarella, or butternut squash and pepitas. My favorite combination is farro mixed with sautéed onion, garlic, shiitake mushrooms and baby spinach. (Shiitake mushrooms are another food the hubs and I don’t agree on. I think because I mentioned the word “healthy” or something.) The bowl you see above was my lunch today. I have 4 or so more servings stored in the fridge for later this week. Yum!
Tangentially, did you know I have an audience when I take food photos these days?
- 2 cups farro
- 5 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced (or chopped if you prefer)
- 2 large cloves of garlic, diced
- .5 oz dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2-3 big handfuls of baby spinach, washed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- Parmesan for serving
- In a medium sized pot combine the farro with the 5 cups of water and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes for semi-pearled farro and 50 minutes for whole farro. The farro is done when the grains are tender and all the water has been absorbed. Set aside.
- While the farro is cooking, combine the shiitake mushrooms with 1 cup of boiling water. Let sit for 15 minutes or however long the package instructions say is needed to reconstitute the mushrooms. When done, remove the mushrooms from the water and chop, reserving the liquid.
- About 2o minutes before the farro is done warm the olive oil in a large skillet. Cook the onion, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until translucent and beginning to get some color. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes (if using), cook 1 minute longer, until fragrant. Add the chopped mushrooms, mushroom broth and a few big handfuls of baby spinach. Cook, stirring frequently, until the spinach has wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in the farro, mixing with a large spoon to combine well. Serve topped with shredded Parmesan cheese.