Wild Mushroom Farro with Parmesan and Microgreens is a quicker, easier take on a creamy risotto. Ditch the constant stirring and broth-adding that is required of risotto and replace it with earthy wild mushrooms, nutty farro, and the perfect salty punch of parmesan in every bite. I love this recipe because it highlights one of my new-found favorite ingredients: wild mushrooms harvested by my boyfriend’s sister and brother-in-law. They are foraging extraordinaires and have taught me so much about mushrooms and their amazing properties. Did you know mushrooms form intricate communication networks that cover miles in order to signal other mushrooms of impending danger?
I wasn’t always a mushroom lover, but I’ve really been enjoying experimenting with them in my recipes. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!
Ingredients needed to make Wild Mushroom Farro with Parmesan and Microgreens
This recipe calls for wild mushrooms. I was lucky enough to score some maitake, or “hen of the woods,” from my boyfriend’s sister and brother-in-law, which is what I used here. You could use any variety of mushroom you like or that is available locally in-season. Other great options would be oyster mushrooms, chanterelles, or morels. If you aren’t experienced at foraging, I would not recommend going out into your own backyard and pulling up whatever mushroom you see. Be sure to ask an expert to identify any mushrooms you find, or visit local farm stands for the freshest options available for purchase. In addition to the mushrooms, here’s what else you’ll need:
- Butter or olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Fresh rosemary
- Fresh thyme
- Dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
- Parmesan cheese
- Milk or cream
- Salt and pepper
Many of the ingredients in this recipe are fresh, but I have linked a few of my staple pantry items that you’ll want to have on hand for this recipe. Also, as a quick note, if you are looking for a quick recipe, you’ll likely want to use pearled farro (linked above). “Pearling” is a process by which some of the bran is removed from the farro, which in turn removes some of the nutrients and fiber, but makes for a much faster cook time. If you don’t care about the time, I’d recommend this imported farro brand or this organic farro from Bob’s Red Mill.
Tools used to make Wild Mushroom Farro with Parmesan and Microgreens
Because of the varying times required to cook farro (depending on what kind you buy), I call for pre-cooked farro in this recipe. Farro is a great grain to cook at the beginning of the week to use in loads of different meals just as you would rice or quinoa, so I’ll often do that on Sundays and have it ready in the fridge for easy dinners. I’d recommend cooking your farro ahead of time or give yourself extra time before starting on the mushrooms, which take very little time in comparison. You’ll need a medium-large pot to cook the farro, such as this one.
In addition, you’ll need a large skillet big enough to cook the mushrooms and then toss everything together at the end. I used my favorite Le Creuset cast-iron, but any non-stick skillet will work. You’ll also want a large cutting board, measuring cups and spoons, a well-sharpened chef’s knife, like this one, and a wooden spoon for stirring. That’s it!
How to make Wild Mushroom Farro with Parmesan and Microgreens
If you cook your farro ahead of time, this recipe takes all of 20 minutes. If not, don’t sweat it, just be prepared for a little extra time spent cooking! Begin by trimming any slimy areas from the mushrooms and brushing off excess dirt. If you can, try to avoid rinsing the mushroom as this prevents them from caramelizing (they’ll retain too much water and steam rather than caramelize). Next, chop the mushrooms into roughly 1-2 inch pieces while you melt your butter in a skillet.
Add the onions, salt, and pepper, and cook until the onions are translucent. Then, you’ll stir in the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes or so. You want the mushrooms to be softened, but not mushy. Add the garlic, rosemary, and thyme, and stir to coat the mushrooms and onions.
The best step? Adding the wine. This step is crucial in order to get all the caramelized bits from the mushrooms and onions up from the bottom of the pan. If you don’t care to cook with wine, you can easily substitute chicken or vegetable broth! Just make sure to use your wooden spoon to scrape up the goodness from the bottom of the pan as you add the liquid.
You’ll let this simmer on medium-low heat until all of the wine has evaporated and you’re left with delicious caramelized mushrooms. At this point, you’ll add your cooked farro and allow it to warm with the mushrooms for a minute or so. Then, add the parmesan, milk or cream, and a pinch more of salt and pepper. The goal is to have a light creamy coating, but this isn’t going to be a thick cream sauce by any means. If you want more of a thick cream sauce, you can certainly add more milk or cream and let it reduce slightly over low heat for a few minutes. I prefer just a touch of creaminess to really let the flavor of the mushrooms and farro shine.
That’s it! You’ll sprinkle on a handful of microgreens at the end for a little fresh bite, and serve immediately. It’s so delicious paired with a glass of wine and pair of cozy PJs, but elegant enough to serve for dinner- if we ever get to host dinner parties again!
Looking for other comforting vegetarian dishes from The Ardent Cook?
Potato, Leek, and Corn Chowder
2 tbsp butter or olive oil
½ pound wild mushrooms, such as maitake or oyster
½ medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
½ cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
2 cups cooked farro
⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp milk or cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 handfuls bitter microgreens, such as micro arugula, for serving
- Prepare the mushrooms by trimming any slimy areas and brushing off excess dirt. Roughly chop the mushrooms into 1-2 inch pieces while you melt the butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
- Add the onions, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until onions turn translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5, until they are just softened. Stir in the garlic, rosemary, and thyme, then season again with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Pour the wine into the pan, stirring constantly to scrape up any caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the wine to evaporate entirely, stirring occasionally.
- Once the mushrooms are finished cooking and the wine has evaporated, stir in the cooked farro (make sure the farro is warmed before adding). Add the parmesan, milk or cream, and a pinch more of salt and pepper. Fold to combine until the cheese has melted and everything is incorporated. The final dish should be creamy, but not overly wet. Top with microgreens and an additional sprinkling of parmesan, and serve warm. This dish stands up on its own as a vegetarian main alongside a salad, or pair it with roast chicken and vegetables for a comforting fall dish. Enjoy!
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