One ingredient I like to keep in the cupboard is farro. It is one of the oldest grains in the world and was a staple of the Roman diet. It’s a grain which has low gluten levels but is also a good source of fiber and protein, so it’s healthy for you too. And versatile! You can put it into soups, grind it into flour for bread, or make a salad out of it. Farro can take the place of rice or potatoes or you can make a quick weeknight dinner out of it.
The kind you’ll typically find in the store is “semi-pearled farro” or “farro perlato” which means the hull has been removed and it’s ready to be cooked. This is the kind you want. If it’s not this kind you’ll have to soak it for a long time before cooking which would make this a not so quick weeknight dinner. The grains will really plump up, making a very hearty dish which is almost impossible to overcook, unlike rice. When cooked, farro has a firm chewy texture and nutty flavor I find goes well with the earthiness of mushrooms. Anyway, next time you see some at the store pick up a package and give it try. It was good enough for the Romans and look at what they accomplished!
- 1 C farro perlato
- 2 ½ C water
- 1 oz dried mushrooms
- ½ C peas
- 1 ½ Tbs butter
Put the water with a few pinches of salt into a small sauce pan on the stove and bring to a boil. Once it boils remove from heat and add your dried mushrooms. Let steep for a half hour. Take out mushrooms and save the water.
In a large sauté pan over med-high heat melt the butter, add the farro and lightly toast it.
Add the mushroom water bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat to medium and cook until tender, about 25 minutes. If the liquid gets soaked up and the farro isn’t tender enough for you add some water, like 1/2 C, and see how that works.
Slice your mushrooms.
When farro is almost done add the mushrooms and peas. Stir in the remaining ½ Tbs of butter and parlsey.