Farro is such a versatile grain that offers wonderful texture and meatiness as well as great health benefits. Farro is a great source for fiber, protein, and iron. It is easy to prepare and can be used in a plethora of dishes. Farro is great as a side to any beef or poultry dish. It can easily be added to soups and salads, mixed with roasted vegetables, served for breakfast with fruits, and so much more. This particular recipe with the sautéed mushrooms pairs well with a lean and tender steak. However, along with a salad, this recipe can be a wonderful vegetarian dinner.
1 c farro, rinsed
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
8-10 oz cremini, shiitake, or button mushrooms
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tbs fresh thyme, roughly chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 c crumbled feta
1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
for the farro:
In a large saucepan, add the rinsed farro, 3 cups of water, and a touch of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer until farro is tender, about 15-20 minutes. The farro will have a chewy texture. Drain any excess water and transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and the balsamic vinegar and toss gently and set aside.
for the mushrooms:
Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until they are becoming translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and red chili flakes, sauté for 1 minute or until it becomes fragrant. Add the mushrooms and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Saute the mushrooms until they change in texture and color. This will take between 10 and 15 minutes depending on size and type of mushroom. They will begin to turn a deep brown color. Add the fresh thyme about midway through and continue to stir as the mushrooms cook.
Once the mushrooms are soft and tender, remove from heat. Stir the mushrooms, feta, and pine nuts in with the farro. Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary. Sprinkle fresh thyme to garnish and serve immediately.