Sunday, January 27, 2013

Creamy Farro with Crispy Shiitakes


Have you had farro yet?  It's another one of those grains that, in the past decade or so, have become the darlings of the culinary world.  Here are a few quotes from a New York Times article on farro:

"Because farro contains a starch similar to that found in Arborio rice, it behaves much like risotto, releasing a creamy, binding liquid when cooked. But unlike risotto, farro doesn't become gummy; instead, it retains its tender, distinct bite, even if it sits awhile after cooking. Farro is rich in fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C and E. It grows best in barren, high-altitude terrain and is almost always grown without chemical pesticides or fertilizers. Because it is so easily digested and so low in gluten, farro can often be eaten by people who are normally gluten-intolerant. According to the department of plant genetics at the University of Florence, farro is an ancient, unhybridized grain used for thousands of years in North Africa and the Middle East, where farro kernels have been found in Egyptian tombs. During the height of the Roman Empire, farro was used as a primary food and probably even as money. True farro is Triticum dicoccum, an unhybridized wheatlike plant that has two spikes and is in the wheat family."

Italy is the major producer of farro today. 


Since I've already had farro served risotto-style made by my son-in-law, I already knew how delicious it can be.  This is the kind of comforting dish that is perfect for the winter months. 

As you will see, it is prepared in a very similar fashion to risotto also.  This makes a wonderful compliment to many meat or poultry dishes.  I was asked for the recipe when I served it - it is delicious! 

Creamy Farro with Crispy Shiitakes

Adapted from Whole Living
Printable Recipe

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 cup farro (I was able to find the Roland brand at my local store)
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock (I like Kitchen Basics brand)
Coarse salt
12 ounces wild mushrooms, such as shiitake or oyster, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch slices (I used all Shiitake mushrooms)
Red-pepper flakes
1 bunch spinach (10 ounces), stemmed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.  When hot, add 1 tablespoon oil. Add shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add farro, stirring until toasted, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add chicken stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until farro is tender and creamy, 35 to 40 minutes. Season with salt and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 450 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss mushrooms with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and red-pepper flakes. Roast, stirring once, until crisp and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Warm farro over medium heat and add spinach, stirring until wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms and Parmesan. Pass additional Parmesan at the table.

44 comments:

  1. I'm so interested to read about farro---my daughter just made a mushroom and farro risotto and has been raving about it. The crispy shitakes sound interesting!

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  2. Mmmm creamy and crispy in the same dish - this sounds delicious. I have not heard of this grain so will have to investigate. Lucky you, to have a cooking son in law!

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  3. We love Farro:-)
    I bought my first Farro in Castelluccio....Italy..one of my favorite memories in my life:-)
    It's a staple here since 2009..
    This looks so beautiful to me:-)

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  4. I've never had Farro. This recipe sounds so interesting, love the crispy mushrooms and the creamy texture combination.

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  5. I haven't tried farro. This recipe sounds delicious so I will be sure to use this one when I do! xo

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  6. I also have never had farro. Your recipe sounds like something I would like - thanks for sharing.
    I could use a big serving of it about now, as I have no clue what is for dinner. :/
    Have a great week.

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  7. Susan a really delicious recipe, love it!!

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  8. An excellent kitchen adventure.

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  9. I've never had farro but your dish looks great:@)

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  10. I have long been a fan of farro. Love it and this recipe looks great.

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  11. We really enjoy farro, and I buy it at our health food store. Your recipe sounds like something we would enjoy.

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  12. I haven't tried farro yet but am hearing more and more about the grain. You may have just provided the recipe to start us off.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  13. I've eaten farro many times but seldom think about cooking with it. This recipe gives me the incentive to do so now.

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  14. I have never had farro. We need to give it a try and this recipe looks like a perfect one to begin with. Have a great week.

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  15. Hi Susan, very interesting recipe. This is my first time come across farro. Yours look very good and appetizing. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Have a great week ahead,regards.

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  16. This is beyond delicious, Susan. I have to get some farro too. I really love some ancient grains.

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  17. Okay, I'm putting farro on my grocery list, too! We've now got 3 members of our extended family who claim to be gluten intolerant. I would LOVE to be able to serve this to them.

    Very pretty photos that are making me crave a taste, even before breakfast! LOL

    Warm & grateful hugs for all you share,
    Rett

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  18. I don't think I have had it before but it sounds delicious; I made a similar dish with roasted green wheat (called freekeh here) and it came out delicious. I think grain and mushrooms go really well together, maybe something to do with their earthiness both! in any case, this looks and sounds perfect, and i'd eat this and forget the meat!

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  19. Love farro. Have some in my pantry right now - and used to be WILD about dried shitakes (not so much the fresh ones) until I bought my first porcini in Italy a few years ago...silly, eh? They are both delicious, but there is something really special about a porcini to me. This would be very substantial and flavourful! My kind of salad for a main course! YUM!
    :)
    V

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  20. I have never tried farro before but your dish looks so tasty, I must now :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  21. thanks for sharing my dear, I love farro ! Have a nice day, a hug...

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  22. I love farro! And this risotto-like recipe looks wonderful. The texture of farro in a risotto must be lovely.

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  23. I love farro and with the mushrooms on top, this is truly a wonderful dish! One that I might expect to see on a restaurant menu!

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  24. What a beautiful and savory meal.

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  25. I love farro and have been thrilled by all these "new"/ancient grains tat have been coming to the forefront. I've got this bookmarked to try - the crispy shiitakes sound delish.

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  26. I have had farro while traveling in Italy but have not cooked it myself. I have to change that and make your nice recipe....it sounds great.

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  27. Susan~ That's my idea of the perfect dinner with a glass of wine! I'm looking for farro on my next trip to the store! I like Kitchen Basics chicken stock too :)

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  28. I have never tried farro before! This looks great! And yes, would be perfect with any poultry dishes! Yum!
    I'm not even sure whether have I seen farro over here before!

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  29. I have not tried farro and have only had risotto a couple of times, but this looks really delicious.

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  30. this looks wonderful and great and informative post

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  31. I love the idea of farro being eaten and used for money in the height of the Roman era- they knew how to eat healthy back in those days;-)
    I'm a big fan of farro salads- I think they are both healthy and satisfying for lunch or dinner. Your recipe for creamy farro looks delicious -filled with wild mushrooms even better;-)

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  32. Sounds so fabulous. I haven't tried that. I love shitake mushrooms. They give such an earthy flavor, perfect for the cold winter months.

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  33. I haven't tried farro yet but lloking at this beautiful creation I want to jump right at my kitchen and make it!

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  34. Susan, it's been so long since the last time I tried Farro, that I can hardly remember what it tastes like.
    No matter. The title of this hearty dish alone, with the shiitake mushrooms and white wine, is enough to get me excited about it, all over again!

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  35. Farro is new to me, but I love the mushrooms and want to try it. Thanks for something different!

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  36. That sounds delicious! I think I'll pick up some farro today :)

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  37. Delicious! I love farro and should make it more often because it's delicious and good for me. What a perfect recipe with the mushrooms... they would go brilliantly with the nuttiness of the grain. Another of your recipes to copy!

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  38. I never had farro, and from your description I know I will enjoy it since I love rice...all kind of rice. I like the idea of shiitake mushrooms and not over cooked spinach :)
    Have a great weekend Susan!

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  39. I love farro! It really is so delicious and very statisfying and nutritious. It's good that it is becoming more mainstream amd easier to find these days. Your recipe looks wonderful, Susan!

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  40. I looks beautiful and delicious susan..I (and fortunately the family too) love faaro, and I will surely make this recipe with the shiitake..
    Ronelle

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  41. I adore farro and one of my favorite dishes is farro with zucchini and Parmesan. Make it all the time. I have a farro cheesy dish from Giada I've been meaning to try too, but yours looks so delicious I'm going to make it first!

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  42. Pinning your recipe right now! Looks delicious-think I'll make it next week!

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  43. Susan, thank you for introducing me to farro. Your photos are, as always, so beautiful.

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  44. Creamy and delicious just like risotto, but without all of the stirring-bonus! Love.

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