This will be a short post.
I know that this will upset my large, and ever-increasing fan base that is clamoring for more of my glittering prose. After all, it has been a full month since I’ve graced the internet with my vegetal presence.
But a recent Facebook rant from someone I last saw 16 years ago has left a deep and irreversible impression on me. This individual, who I hold in the highest regard, though our relationship now exists solely online, complained that most food blogs suffer from an unbearable verbosity. All he wants is the damn recipe. No editorializing. No food origin stories to read through. Just the f*&@#ing recipe already!
I get it. When it comes to food writing, there is a lot of pretentious, B.S. stuff out there.
I’m talking too much. You just want the recipe.
It’s Meatless Monday.
You should eat less meat.
This recipe, like this post, is meat-free. It involves farro and mushrooms. It was recently featured on Food52 as a “One-Pan Meal to Add to Your Rotation.”
You should make it.
Double Mushroom & Kale Farro
This makes six servings, but also freezes well if you don’t have that many mouths to feed.
1 oz mixed dried mushrooms, rehydrated and sliced.
1 ½ cups mushroom liquid
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 lb mixed fresh mushrooms, sliced (cremini, maitake, shitake)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup finely chopped white onion
1 ½ cups pearled farro (It’s important to use pearled farro here, and not semi-pearled or regular farro. Using other types of farro will result in a cooking time well over the 20 minutes stated below.)
1 ½ cups vegetable or chicken stock (preferably homemade)
½ bunch of Tuscan kale, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for serving
1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped (optional)
Place dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with 1 ½ cups of hot water, to cover. Set aside until mushrooms are soft, about 30 minutes. Drain mushrooms through a fine-mesh sieve, collecting the liquid in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Set mushroom liquid aside. Slice rehydrated mushrooms.
Warm chicken stock in a small pan or in the microwave.
Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add fresh sliced mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until soft (but not mushy) and reduced by roughly half, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and place cooked mushrooms in a bowl.
Heat olive oil in the same pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add farro and stir to coat with oil, about one minute.
Add three-quarters of a cup of warmed chicken stock, allowing it to bubble away before adding the remaining stock. Unlike a risotto, you do not have to constantly stir the farro, but do keep an eye on it and stir as needed.
Once the stock has been absorbed, add the reserved mushroom liquid. When most of the mushroom liquid has been absorbed, add all the mushrooms (rehydrated and fresh) to the pan. Total cooking time until this point should be 20 minutes or less.
Add the kale and cook until it is bright green and wilted. At this point most of the liquid should be absorbed. If not, turn up the heat slightly and continue stirring for a minute or two. Check the farro: it should be chewy, not crunchy.
Stir in the cheese and thyme, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with additional cheese and optional fresh chives to garnish.