1 ½cupspearled farroIt’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 ½cupsvegetable or chicken stockpreferably homemade
½bunch of Tuscan kalethinly sliced (about 4 cups)
1cupgrated pecorino romano cheeseplus more for serving
1tbsp.chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2Tbspfresh chiveschopped (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.
This makes six servings, but also freezes well if you don’t have that many mouths to feed.