Farro with Mushrooms, Thyme, and Balsamic Vinegar
Farro with Mushrooms, Thyme, and Balsamic Vinegar makes a tasty side dish.
I’m accumulating a lot of cookbooks, and sometimes I just don’t get around to trying anything from them, even when the recipes look great. That’s been the case with Lorna Sass’ great book, Whole Grains, Every Day Every Way. I’ve been reading this informative book for months, but this is the first thing I’ve cooked from it. The book has gotten me interested in many grains I’m not familiar with like farro, spelt, amaranth, and millet. I wanted to try farro for months, but I couldn’t find it anywhere in Salt Lake, not even Whole Foods! Then my generous brother Rand got some at the Ferry Building in San Francisco and sent it to me. (I loved the flavor of farro when I tried this recipe, and once I had my hands on some, I did find the same brand of Organic Italian Farro by Giancomo Santoleri at Amazon.com, hooray!) You can also make this recipe with brown rice or barley if you don’t find any farro where you are.
Farro is grown in many parts of Italy, Southern Europe and Morocco, and is often used as a whole grain side dish or in soups or risotto. Cooked farro has a pleasantly chewy texture and a slightly nutty flavor. Some types of farro need to be pre-soaked, but most farro imported from Italy to the U.S. will be “semi-perlato” which means that much of the bran has been removed, and it cooks quickly.
Because the plant produces low yields, it’s relatively expensive compared to other types of grain, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping it from gaining increased popularity among health-conscious food lovers. I think the fans of Weekend Herb Blogging might be interested in learning more about Farro, so I’m submitting this entry to Laurie from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska, who’s hosting this week.
Farro with Mushrooms, Balsamic Vinegar, and Thyme
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe adapted from Whole Grains, Every Day Every Way.)
3 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic. each cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup diced red onions (or use shallots which were in the original recipe)
24 oz. sliced baby bella (Crimini) mushrooms, stems cut in half lengthwise and caps sliced in 1/2 inch slices
pinch salt (I used Vege-Sal)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar mixed with 1 T water (original recipe called for Marsala wine, but this worked great)
1 T chopped fresh thyme (or use 2 tsp. frozen thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme)
3 cups cooked farro (see below for how to cook the farro. Cooked barley or brown rice can also be substituted.)
To make 3 cups cooked Farro:
1 cup farro
1 3/4 cups water
Use a large heavy frying pan for the second part of the recipe. (I’m not a fan of non-stick pans for some things, but it worked well here.) Heat the oil, then add the onion and garlic and saute until onions are starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Remove garlic and discard.
Add sliced mushrooms and stems, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and saute over medium high heat until mushrooms have released their liquid and are well browned, about 5 minutes (or longer, depending on your pan.)
Stir in the balsamic vinegar/water mixture and cook until liquid is mostly evaporated, about 2 minutes. (If using dried thyme, add it with the balsamic vinegar.) Add cooked farro and heat 2-3 minutes, stirring gently. If your pan is not non-stick, you may need to add a bit of water when you heat the farro. When farro is heated through and moistened, add the fresh (or thawed) thyme, stir, season with salt if desired and serve hot.
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South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Lots More Bloggers Who’ve Discovered Farro:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Jerusalem Artichokes with Farro, Carrots, and Rosemary from Lucullian Delights
Farro and Roasted Butternut Squash from 101 Cookbooks
Farro with Mozarella di Bufula and Tomatoes from The Food Section
Farro with Collard Greens and Bacon Salt from Herbivoracious
Vanilla Farro-Risotto Pudding from Cook and Eat
Farro Risotto with Asparagus and Hazelnuts from Alexandra’s Kitchen
Farro, Black Bean, and Corn Salad from Tuna Toast
Farro with Asparagus and Green Onion Sauce from A Veggie Venture
Farro Risotto with Dried Portobello Mushrooms from Redacted Recipes
Farro and Cherry Tomato Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing from Enlightened Cooking
Farro with Cavolo Nero from Feel Good Eats
Want even more farro recipes?
I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.