Meatless Monday: Farro with Mushrooms, Leeks, and Thyme

I enjoy trying new things, especially when it comes to food.  Often I am reading articles in magazines or on the web and find new items that I want to try, whether it is a recipe, an ingredient, or a technique. Sometimes though it is hard to find specific ingredients in our small town.  We have great resources within driving distance but it isn’t practical to drive 20 miles or more for one special ingredient.  This is when I turn to Amazon.  I can always find what I need.  Not too long ago I was reading about farro and I really wanted to try it.  It sounded intriguing.  It cooks up just like rice, is used in a variety of recipes, and has a nutty flavor and a chewy texture.  Robust and extremely satisfying, use it for breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes.  I found a large 3 lb. bag on Amazon and decided to go for it.

Beautiful leek

It was surprisingly easy to cook, just boiled in liquid a ratio of 1:3 till tender.  That’s 1 part farro to 3 parts cooking liquid.  I used water but broth could also be used to impart more flavor. Unlike rice the farro did not absorb all the water, so it needs to be drained after cooking.  Make the farro 1-2 days in advance if desired and reheat later with the desired accompaniments.  I chose leeks for their subtle onion and garlic flavors, and divinely beautiful white, bright yellow, and dark green coloration.  I like to cook my leeks at the last moment, sweating them, slightly seasoned with salt, to help preserve some of their beautiful colors. Mushrooms add earthiness and a meaty texture to the dish.  Over all I am in love with farro.  It was so easy to make, plus it’s a healthy whole grain with a nutty taste and chewy texture that is richly satisfying.  Serve this dish as a meatless main with a dark green baby spinach salad.

Farro with mushrooms, leeks, and thyme

Farro with Mushrooms, Leeks, and Thyme
 
I love using leeks in recipes. They have a slightly milder taste than onions, and to me taste like a cross between an onion and garlic, yet more delicate. They also have beautiful coloration. They can be tough to clean. My tip is to cut the leek in half, from top to bottom, and then slice thinly. I place the sliced leeks into my salad spinner filled with water, and allow them to soak for a while, then drain, and spin away all the grit and sand. It works really well and makes cleaning them a breeze.
Recipe by:
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pearled farro
  • 3 cups cooking liquid
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb cremini mushrooms quartered
  • 1 large leek chopped and washed
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs leaves removed
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Directions
  1. Place 1 cup farro with 3 cups liquid (water or vegetable broth) in large saucepan and cook over medium heat until farro is al dente about 20 minutes.
  2. Drain farro and set aside.
  3. In large sauce pan over medium heat add 1 tbsp olive oil.
  4. Add half of quartered mushrooms to hot pan, season with pinch of salt and sauté mushrooms until browned. Set aside in small dish.
  5. Add another 1 tbsp of olive oil to pan and repeat with remaining mushrooms. Once cooked set aside with the other mushrooms.
  6. Add last 1 tbsp of olive oil to sauté pan, adding leeks and diced shallot to pan, seasoning with a pinch of salt.
  7. Sauté for 2 minutes then deglaze pan with ½ cup of white wine, scraping up any browned bits.
  8. Add cooked farro and mushrooms back to pan with leeks and shallots. Cook for 5-7 minutes more and add last ½ cup of white wine, thyme, remaining salt, and ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper.
  9. Cook until all wine is absorbed.
  10. Serve warm.

 

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