Farro Salad with Roasted Mushrooms and Parmesan

By • July 13, 2010 • 62 Comments

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Author Notes: The other week, at a restaurant near me in Brooklyn, I tried a special appetizer of roasted mushrooms and farro. It ended up being more mushroom than farro, and while I might have preferred the opposite, the synthesis of flavors was spot on. The entire dish was perfumed with parmesan, which, instead of being grated, had been crumbled into tiny pebbles.
The result was an earthy, umami-rich salad that may sound perfect for winter but was actually well-suited to dining al fresco on a balmy summer evening, thanks to a healthy dose of lemon juice and parsley. Below is my attempt to recreate the salad, using basically the opposite ratio of farro to mushrooms.
Merrill Stubbs

Serves 4

  • 1 cup uncooked farro
  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound wild mushrooms (use a mix of your favorites)
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped or crumbled parmesan (not grated - you want a slightly coarser texture here)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine the farro and enough cold water to cover it by about an inch. Soak for 20 minutes. Drain well and return the farro to the pan, again covering it with cold water. Add a few generous pinches of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until the farro is tender but still has some bite.
  2. While the farro is cooking, wipe and trim the mushrooms and then cut them into bite-sized pieces. Arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss gently to distribute everything; spread the mushrooms out evenly on the baking sheet and put in the oven for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until crisp around the edges and cooked through.
  3. When the farro is cooked, drain it well and spread it on a clean baking sheet to cool. Do the same with the mushrooms once they are cooked. When the farro and mushrooms are close to room temperature, or just barely warm, combine them in a serving bowl. Add the lemon juice and 6 tablespoons of olive oil, tossing gently to combine. Then add the parmesan, parsley and a generous grinding of pepper and fold gently. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve at room temperature.
Jump to Comments (62)

Comments (62) Questions (2)

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6 months ago Gabe Sasso

I posted my interpretation of this recipe which I love, along with a Pinot Noir review today. Check it out: http://gabesview.com/2014...

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8 months ago sevenfaces

This recipe is great. I make this with pearl couscous as I can never find farro, and it tastes rad! Tonight I served it with plainly roasted chicken pieces and green leaves which was perfect, there is so much flavour in the salad :)

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10 months ago Prklypr

I am totally obsessed with this recipe! Made it 3x in the past week. So quick and easy. Tried a few variations: subbed goat cheese for parm, thyme instead of parsley. All delicious!

Stringio

11 months ago Greatfallsdeb

Is there a trick to preparing the farro? I followed the directions exactly as this was my first time and mine was mushy....almost like oatmeal. I guess it still tastes good but definitely doesn't seem to be the right consistency.

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11 months ago ella11

This was so delicious!! The farro came out perfectly with the soaking and then cooking method. Really yummy lunch that was gone in less than 2 days. Love the flavor combination and the simplicity! Thanks Merrill!

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12 months ago Beth

I made this recipe this past weekend as a vegetarian side dish, but it was a hit even among the meat eaters! I did tweak it quite a bit to add some more flavour.
To start, I cooked the farro in vegetable stock, and didn't need to add salt because of it. I also sauteed onions and garlic for a few minutes, then added the mushrooms. A few minutes before the mushrooms were finished cooking I added some white wine and thyme. I then continued with the original recipe, although I did add some peas and baby spinach right at the end. It was delicious! I will definitely be making this again.

Junechamp

about 1 year ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Mmmm I'm making this (a double batch) to take to Thanksgiving dinner. :)
If there are any leftovers, I'm bringing them home!

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about 1 year ago dymnyno

Agree! This is one of my all time favorite recipes.

Junechamp

about 1 year ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

eating leftovers for lunch the day after. SO delicious. Thanks, Merrill.

Merrill

about 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You're so welcome!

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about 1 year ago Leah Davis

This is a great recipe - the combination of flavors are excellent. I did a blog post about it here. Thank you so much for sharing this great recipe!! Come em coming!
- Leah
http://georgiapeachonmymind...

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about 1 year ago CondimentQueen

I made this by following the recipe to a 'T' the first time. I had never tasted Farro before so didn't want to mess about too much. I loved it! The even-better news is that I have fallen head-over-heels for Farro and am now making multiple variations of the original. I love a recipe that lets me run wild! Thanks

Merrill

about 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You're welcome!

Stringio

over 1 year ago Leanne Schira

Does anyone think capers would go with this meal? What about added kale?

Merrill

about 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Sorry, I'm just seeing this comment -- I think capers could be nice, but I wouldn't use to many. I'm actually planning to add sauteed kale and roasted butternut squash to a batch I'm making this afternoon!

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over 1 year ago gotham gourmand

Farro is one of my favorite grains, so when I came across this dish I had to try it. I made a double batch and used shitake mushrooms - the recipe worked beautifully! I hid the leftovers in the back of the fridge all for myself. :) I think I'll try roasting some butternut squash and mixing in butter-fried, crumbled sage leaves next time.

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over 1 year ago sel et poivre

I used 1/4 cup barley with full amount of buna shimeji mushrooms. I took the cue from a couple of commenters: I sauteed the mushrooms in butter and used truffle oil (lesser amount) instead of olive (in this case, no lemon juice as I didn't want to compromise the earthy truffle flavour). I also threw in some toasted panko for a little "crunch". YUM! Thanks for sharing merrill.

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over 1 year ago Eldorado5

This is a great recipe. I used Kamut instead of farro and I roasted slivers of shallot along with the mushrooms. So very delicious!

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over 1 year ago Cathy Huyghe

Thank you! Would you change anything in steps 2 or 3 in the recipe if I substituted, say, barley for the farro?

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over 1 year ago dymnyno

This recipe is one of my all time favorites! I have been making it since Merrill first shared it quite a while back. I have to stop myself from eating it all!

Gaga

almost 2 years ago rachel waters

WOW. This recipe is so fab, I tweaked a bit (added chopped walnuts/almonds and a higher 'goods' to grain ratio). I heated it up for breakfast the next day w/arugula and a scrambled egg. YUM. Here is my blog post on it:

http://feastoffashions...

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over 2 years ago JenniferF

This recipe is a keeper for sure. I've made it several times, most recently for my book group along with two other interesting salads. This one was the hit.

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over 2 years ago Erin Butterworth

Merrill, I have made this a couple of times now and is fabulous. I actually crave it. The first time was for the dinner party I guinea pigged.... they raved!! Kudos

Merrill

over 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad you like it! I bet those cravings are umami-related, don't you?

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over 2 years ago Erin Butterworth

Yes:) Love it! Tonight I added some carmelized vidalia onions (thinly sliced) for a variation. Worked in nicely.

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over 2 years ago claireab

has anyone tried this with reconstituted dry wild mushrooms?

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over 2 years ago hayley

I cooked the mushrooms on the grill (on a cookie sheet) with some smoky wood blocks on it and it was terrific! Also added some fresh rosemary and thyme to the mushrooms while they were cooking. Great recipe.

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over 2 years ago Randi

Delicious! I just made this with white mushrooms (cooked for about 30 min) and pecorino Romano cheese. Having this for lunches this week will surely soften the blow of going back to work after a week off.

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almost 3 years ago kwinke

I tried this and added some roasted carrots as well. Nice boost of color.

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almost 3 years ago culture_connoisseur

I couldn't find faro, so I am cooking this tonight with black rice, baby bella's, and a mix of asiago and parmesan. Really looking forward to it!

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almost 3 years ago culture_connoisseur

Loved this so much, I made it with the black rice again and added toasted walnuts!

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almost 3 years ago cookshootblog

I made this 2 days in a row because the first time my farro was still too "tough". On the second version, I made a couple more tweaks and it is amazing. I am going to post to my blog tomoow with a link back to you. Thanks for sharing this incredible salad.

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almost 3 years ago cookshootblog

Update - here is my version and link to the post. http://www.cookshootblog...

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about 3 years ago EmilyC

What a great recipe! I substituted chives for parsley and used my food processor to finely chop the parmesan -- a technique I love because it results in little, uniform nubs of parmesan. It's definitely a dish I'll be making again.

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about 3 years ago QueenOfGreen

Made this last night, but only just now saw the suggestion of truffle oil! Oh well, I knew I'd be making it again anyway! Thanks!

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about 3 years ago Margaret McCormick

Farro is my new best friend: I love love LOVE this recipe! The farro is earthy, nutty and chewy. I agree that the rough-cut Parmesan is key. So is serving the dish at room temperature. I made it using portobellos, and can only imagine how delicious it must be with wild mushrooms. Thanks for another great recipe -- and for food52 in general. It's reassuring to know new-to-me recipes are so well tested. The notes on ingredients and questions from other users are helpful, as well.

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over 3 years ago Kaja1105

I made this for a potluck dinner party a few months ago. My friends asked what I was making and looked quizzical when I said farro with mushrooms--turns out they had never eaten farro before. By the end of the meal, they were asking me where to find the stuff, and I passed along the recipe. When I saw these friends again recently, they told me that they had been eating it regularly. I made it again recently for a the first time in a while and was struck by how good it is--truly a perfect balance of flavors.

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over 3 years ago eatinwitheddie

this dish has become a go to fav !!!! i pan saute the mushrooms in butter & olive oil and reduce the amount of oil added at the finish. saves turning on the oven. must make!!

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over 3 years ago CalcuttaChow

Although the recipe sounded so simple, I was unsure. I had never eaten farro and had never roasted mushrooms before. i know parsley and mushrooms taste good together, but lemon juice + parmesan? Wasn't sure what to think. So I took it step by step, tasting each ingredient along the way, and I have to say that it turned out unbelievably tasty. Full of body and bite and bright flavor.

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over 3 years ago mhyoung66

I made this dish tonight and love,love,love it! Will definately make again.

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Made this last night and threw in a handful of toasted walnuts. Delicious!

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almost 4 years ago makahle

yum. yum. yum. so good, will make this everyday if i could ha. thanks!!

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over 3 years ago juana88

I totally agree. Love this salad and tell everyone I know about it.

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almost 4 years ago deanna1001

Made this last night and it was fantastic! I didn't have parmesan (!?!) but subbed a crumbly baby swiss from the Amish farmer at the market. Will do with parmesan next time. And I like the idea from "cilantro" about adding truffle oil. But what a great, simple recipe. Thanks!

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almost 4 years ago ahmz

This looks absolutely amazing. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe with us. Home Cooking keep it up

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almost 4 years ago mjlandry

Just made this for a friend. It was so delicious. I cooked my farro in broth and added truffle salt. I will make this over and over again. I used chanterelles, shitakes and trumpets:-) Thanks for the recipe. It's a keeper.

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almost 4 years ago cilantro

Loved it. Added just a touch of truffle oil and it was amazingly yummy.

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almost 4 years ago Peanut

I couldn't find farro in Whole Foods (!), so I so I used Seven Grain Blend (wheat berries, brown rice, rye berries, spelt, pearled barley, bulgur, buckwheat groats). Very textural! There was a fair amount of oil in the roasted mushrooms (which are yummy!) already, so I just drizzled on some homemade vinaigrette I had on hand (nowhere near 6T) and added a squeeze of lemon. I doubled the amount of parsley, which added a nice, bright, green note to a very brown and umami dish. Delish!

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almost 4 years ago wssmom

I have to wean myself away from Farro Risotto eventually ... this looks like a great starting point!

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almost 4 years ago limonana

Inspired, I created variation on this great recipe. Instead of mushrooms used thinly sliced sun dried tomatoes (olive oil-packed) and replaced the parmesan with sheep kashkaval. Also used some of the flavored olive oil from the tomato jar. It was very tasty. Falling in love with farro:)

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almost 4 years ago foggyland

I made this the other night - absolutely fantastic! Loved everything about it! To make it a little lighter, I only put a tablespoon of olive oil (instead of 6!) and squeezed a bit more lemon in the salad. I can wholeheartedly say I cannot wait to make this again!

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almost 4 years ago galsmu

Made this last night - what a hit! Loved the depth of flavor from the roasted mushrooms and the chopped Parmesan was a great touch. This will be a great addition to our rotation!

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almost 4 years ago limonana

I just made this and it is so delicious!! (first recipe I've tried from this site btw.) Such a rewarding and perfectly balanced recipe. The taste, the texture, the colors...all perfect!
Already looking forward to mushroom picking season beacuse of this recipe.

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about 4 years ago Stockout

After wanting too for months, I finally bought some farro. I would imagine that if I use a nut chopper I can get that texture you are looking for in the cheese?

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over 4 years ago TinaMiB

Outstanding fresh recipe! I will be making this over and over. The lemon juice really gives it a summery feel. I had some leftovers cold out of the fridge today and it was just as refreshing as it was freshly cooked.

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks! (I like it cold too.)

The_girls

over 4 years ago Paula

Made this tonight, really great recipe. Thanks for the simple, straightforward farro method. Yes, yes, the pebbly Parmesan is key! Endless variations too: grilled zucchini, baby arugula, crispy shallots or roasted butternut squash (w/the mushrooms) would all be great. This one's a keeper!

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You're welcome! So glad you liked it, and love your variation ideas.

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over 4 years ago culinary1

Making this today!! I have oyster, shitake, and brown mushrooms- all I could get from the store- next time I'll have to ask Todd the Mushroom king for some morels and chanterelles to include. I'm even going to crumble the parmesan:-) Could this be made as a risotto? I was thinking of trying but your version sounded so good I didn't want to change it as I have never cooked farro before.
Can't wait to eat it!

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Sorry, I missed this comment until now. Yes, you could definitely make it as a risotto. I'd cook the farro until al dente first, and then proceed like risotto -- it won't be as creamy as regular risotto, but it will be delicious!

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over 4 years ago dymnyno

I made this last night and it was perfect!! It is a very balanced farro and mushroom recipe that is absolutely addictive. It is very well thought out...nothing is accidental or a clean out the refrigerator sort of ingredient. The parmesan cheese pebbles, which I was skeptical about at first really add to the dish. I will definitely make this repeatedly!

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad you liked it! And I agree: the parmesan "pebbles" are key. Amazing what such a small variation in technique can accomplish.