Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Farro with Dried Porcini and Sage

Farro is one of the oldest wheat varieties. In recent years it has become very popular, especially among vegetarians and foodies who always look for new sources of nutritional values, as farro is an excellent source of fiber, minerals, and vitamin B.

In the modern cuisine farro is often used in place of traditional grains, especially rice. It is easy to cook and more forgiving as it is hard to overcook it. Cooked farro has a stronger taste and firmer texture than rice but some appreciate it for those qualities. For the same reason it is also often used in salads.

One of the way to serve farro is a dish similar to risotto but lighter since it does not include cream or cheese. This particular dish is made with dried porcini, so popular in both Polish and Italian cuisines. If you don't have dried porcinis, you may make it with white cup mushrooms (about 1/2 lb). The recipe calls for sage leaves which give that dish a very nice seasonal flavor. It can be served alone, as a vegetarian dish or to accompany roasted meats.

Farro with Dried Porcini and Sage

1 cup farro, washed,
1/3 cup dried porcini soaked for 1 hour in 1/2 cup of cold water,
4-5 cups vegetable or beef stock,
1 small onion, chopped,
6-8 fresh sage leaves, cut into strips,
1/4 cup plus extra 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil,
salt and freshly ground pepper.

1. In a large pot heat half of the oil. Add chopped onion and fry until transparent. Add sage leaves and fry for another minute.
2. Add farro and the rest of the oil to the pot. Stir it so farro is well coated with oil.
3. Drain and cut porcini into thin strips. Add them to farro. If you like a stronger taste add also the water in which the porcini were soaked.

4. Pour in 2 cups of stock and bring farro to boil, then let it simmer on a low heat stirring frequently. Follow with the rest of the stock until farro becomes tender. This will take 40-50 minutes.
5. Serve the dish hot drizzled with 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil and decorated with sage leaves fried in butter.