Creamy Farro with Mushrooms (or not)

This is a side dish that I served with stuffed flank steak and roasted vegetables (and that Kate asked me to post ASAP).  The mushrooms work well with beef but (Sarah, this is for you) if you don’t like mushrooms you could substitute anything you might put into a risotto (crumbled bacon, for example, or chopped sun-dried tomatoes) or you could just skip the mushrooms entirely.  Finally, you could make this the basis for a main dish by adding some cooked shrimp or chicken and a sprinkling of herbs (thyme and basil).


1 cup of pearled farro, rinsed in a colander

3 cups of water

½ t. salt

8-12 cremini mushrooms (or substitute any mushroom you prefer), sliced

2 t. olive oil

2 T. sherry

⅓ cup grated parmigian cheese, plus extra for serving

2 T. creme fraiche (or substitute sour cream, greek yogurt or heavy cream, depending on what you have)

salt and pepper to taste


  1.  Place the pearled farro, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cover the pan and simmer until the farro is tender (about 45 minutes, perhaps a bit more).
  2. While the farro is cooking,heat the olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat.  Add the sliced mushrooms and stir.  Add the sherry and a good pinch of salt and pepper.  Sauté until mushrooms give up their liquid and most of the liquid in the pan has evaporated.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. When the farro is tender, drain, reserving up to ½ cup of the cooking liquid (it will be milky).  Set aside the cooking liquid.
  4. Return the farro to the pan and add the mushrooms, parmigiana and the creme fraiche.  Stirring to combine.  If the mixture does not appear creamy enough add the cooking liquid a little at a time until you are happy with the consistency.  (If making ahead of time, keep the extra cooking liquid in case the dish becomes a little dry when it is reheated).
  5. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper, if needed.
  6. Top with another sprinkling of parmigiana cheese and serve.

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I am an enthusiastic home cook. I started a blog when my older daughter lived in Paris and had a tiny kitchen, few utensils and a stove with no temperature markings. The purpose was to help her (and eventually her sister) make many of the dishes they love and to learn how to make some new ones. They are now both terrific cooks, but all of us can use a new (or even an old beloved) recipe once in a while.

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