Classified as an ancient grain since it has been around for centuries, farro is a wonderful ingredient we return to time and time again. It's seen a significant resurgence in recent years because it's so easy to prepare and delivers a whole bunch of nutritional goodness on your plate.
This lovely grain is a type of wheat and though not rice, it makes a fabulous risotto-style dish—minus all the hassle of standing over the stove. Because it's starchless, it doesn't require the constant attention and stirring of traditional arborio rice. Farro still retains a bite, just like risotto, but has a nuttier, heavier taste.
In this farro risotto, dried wild mushrooms, shallot, garlic, and parsley partner with the grain perfectly, but any meat or vegetable risotto can also be cooked using farro; fish and seafood, however, will be too light to stand up to its distinctive, pronounced flavor.
Gather the ingredients.
Place the dried mushrooms into a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to one side for 30 minutes while the mushrooms rehydrate.
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil on the stovetop. Add your pearled farro and simmer for 15 minutes, or the time shown on the packet.
While the farro is cooking, heat the clarified butter or ghee in a large skillet on the stovetop. Add the chopped shallot and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat, keep an eye on the shallot to make sure it does not burn. If it is cooking too fast, lower the heat.
Add the minced garlic, cook for 5 minutes, again making sure it does not burn. Drain the dried mushrooms through a fine sieve set over a bowl, saving the liquid. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the skillet with the shallot and garlic. Cook for five minutes.
Strain the cooked farro through a colander and add to the skillet and stir. Add 4 tablespoons of the soaking juices from the mushrooms. Raise the heat and cook until the mushrooms juices have evaporated. Add the parsley and stir again. Cook for 5 minutes more.
Top the farro risotto with a generous handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and stir through.
Serve and enjoy!
- There are different types of farro available to buy: pearled, semi-pearled and regular farro. Of those, the pearled variety is much quicker to cook, while keeping its nutritional value.
- This recipe features a classic combination of mushrooms, herbs, and cheese that work so beautifully with the farro, but feel free to add ingredients you love. When choosing which ingredients to use, you should select ones that will cook quickly. If using leftover meats—turkey is a favorite—take the time to reheat safely.
- For extra nutrition, include some baby kale or spinach.
- Soft herbs like basil, cilantro, and chervil all add great flavor.
- Switch out shallot for finely-chopped red onion or thinly-sliced salad onions.
- Add a touch of Asian flavor to the farro with a touch of grated ginger and a splash of soy sauce.