Mushroom farro, I’m told it’s very in vogue – who knew? I guess I think Farro should be spared the trials of fashion – it’s a so called ancient grain that’s been eaten since pharoahs were in nappies, the world was flat and you could walk from Indonesia to Australia across an ice bridge – it deserves some rest. However, as rice is maligned and people try and recapture the healthy way of eating which led to very long lived cavemen and cavewomen the “alternative” grains have seen a faddish resurgence. Spelt (which is actually a type of farro), farro itself, quinoa and buckwheat all seem to pop up all over the internet. I must admit, therefore, that I’m a relatively late convert. Inherently sceptical of foods which insist they’re more nutritional yet somehow end up tasting less good I’d always been somewhat hesitant to try them. I’d stuck with rice or other wheat based products like couscous, even convincing G that couscous can be inherently delicious if you only follow a couple of simple tricks. Only occasionally would I venture into the brave realms of quinoa just to prove to myself that I was smugly right all along and these alternative grains were kinda rubbish. Then I had a mushroom farro “risotto” in a restaurant and two things happened. Firstly, the farro tasted amazing – nutty and complex with more bite than rice but still a pleasing creaminess. Secondly, much to my chagrin and humility I didn’t get the same tired carb spike that would normally be the price of a delicious risotto. Since then I’ve been cooking farro left, right and centre and I’ve finally hit on my ideal mushroom farro recipe after some trial and error which uses a technique for cooking mushrooms I shared a few weeks ago which really should be part of any cook’s arsenal in my opinion.
Like all my posts, there are tips and tricks for cooking this dish ahead of time at the bottom of the post. Mushroom farro is perfect for making in advance as either parts or all of it can be made up to days in advance!