Sunday, April 28, 2013

Farro Salad with Roasted Mushrooms

This Farro Salad with Roasted Mushrooms and Parmesan by Merrill on Food 52 was recommended to me by my colleague, who claimed that it's simple to make. Since we love our mushrooms and have most of the ingredients on hand, I brought it into our dinner rotation last week. I was amazed that it didn't need garlic or onions. Mushrooms are rather bland, so I thought it would need one or the other. I was wrong. The cheese and lemon juice really carry the flavor. And, farro has become my new favorite grain. That said, I prefer more mushrooms to farro, unlike Merrill. You'll see that I added a few more ounces. Also, I didn't have ungrated Parmesan, so I substituted it with the grated Pecorino Romano we always have on hand. I know it would have been better the other way, but the flavor was still there. You may find my adaptation of the original recipe after the jump. Enjoy!

Farro Salad with Roasted Mushrooms and Parmesan
Serves 4

1 cup uncooked farro
1/2 pound 12 ounces wild mushrooms (use a mix of your favorites) — I used: oyster, black trumpet, and crimini mushrooms
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped or crumbled parmesan (not grated - you want a slightly coarser texture here) — I substituted with grated Pecorino Romano and it was fine.
1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the farro and enough cold water to cover it by about an inch.

3. Soak for 20 minutes.

4. Drain well and return the farro to the pan, again covering it with cold water (same as before is fine).

5. Add a few generous pinches of salt and bring to a boil over high heat.

6. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until the farro is tender but still has some bite.

7. While the farro is cooking, wipe and trim the mushrooms and then cut them into bite-sized pieces.

8. Arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle generously with olive oil.

9. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss gently to distribute everything; spread the mushrooms out evenly on the baking sheet and put in the oven for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until crisp around the edges and cooked through.

10. When the farro is cooked, drain it well and spread it on a clean baking sheet to cool.

11. Do the same with the mushrooms once they are cooked.

12. When the farro and mushrooms are close to room temperature, or just barely warm, combine them in a serving bowl.

13. Add the lemon juice and 6 tablespoons of enough olive oil to coat everything, tossing gently to combine.

14. Then add the parmesan, parsley and a generous grinding of pepper and fold gently.

15. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

16. Serve at room temperature.

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