Seasonal Flavors: Farro with Wild Mushrooms

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By Denise Zito

I had never heard of, much less tasted, farro until last year. Now it’s everywhere I look and joins kale as the new ‘in’ food. Farro is an Italian grain, a form of wheat. My family hails from Sicily while farro is grown in Tuscany, so I suppose that’s why I’m not familiar with it. I also asked our eldest family member and he didn’t know about it either!

Farro is a nice alternative to rice, buglar or pasta, having a distinctive nutty flavor. I really enjoyed it in a dish I had last year at a holiday party and have tried duplicating it here for you. All of the ingredients are available at the Crozet Great Valu, farro being in the Organic/Natural section.

I made this dish last Christmas and put it in my crockpot to keep it warm, and then promptly forgot to serve it. The dish was still great the next day with the leftover turkey!

Farro with Wild Mushrooms

  • 1 ½ cups farro
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups assorted wild mushrooms (I bought several packets of dried mushrooms, reconstituted and used those; of course you can use any mushroom combo—wildness is not a requirement)
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • ½ medium onion, chopped fine
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 3 T. truffle oil
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • Toasted bread crumbs 

Put the farro in boiling, salted water and cook till tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.

Heat the butter and oil in a heavy saucepan, add the onion and cook until tender.  Add the crushed garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and brown for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the milk and stir until it thickens to a sauce. Add the farro to the sauce and mix well. Garnish with toasted bread crumbs.

 

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