Farro Salad with Roasted Mushrooms and Parmesan

July 13, 2010

Test Kitchen-Approved

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
In This Recipe


  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.

More Great Recipes:
Salad|Italian|Lemon Juice|Mushroom|Parsley|Parmesan|Grains|Fall|Winter|Vegetarian|Side

Reviews (65) Questions (2)

65 Reviews

elisaung October 10, 2016
This was delicious, though I agree with those that said it didn't need all 6 T of olive oil. I used 4 T and that was a bit too much for me. I'm definitely making it again - it would be a great vehicle for any roasted veg really.
Transcendancing August 23, 2015
I made this for dinner with some lamb we were charcoal BBQing and it turned out really well. I used freekeh instead of the farro though. It was tasty and I'll definitely make it again - couldn't really taste the parmesan though and think maybe next time I might add more lemon juice and zest. The roasted mushrooms were delicious though!
Carolyn V. June 7, 2015
Fantastic! I didn't think it needed all 6T of olive oil, but maybe I used more on the mushrooms than necessary. This is a keeper for sure!
drbabs March 17, 2015
This was a fabulous meatless Monday meal. I added spinach and kale, and subbed gruyere for the parmesan (which my husband doesn't like). It was perfect for the two of us.
Gabe S. June 30, 2014
I posted my interpretation of this recipe which I love, along with a Pinot Noir review today. Check it out: http://gabesview.com/2014/06/30/cherry-tart-by-cherry-pie-2012-pinot-noir-roasted-mushroom-farro-salad-recipe/
sevenfaces April 23, 2014
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 :)
Prklypr February 16, 2014
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!
Greatfallsdeb January 19, 2014
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.
ella11 January 19, 2014
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!
Beth January 5, 2014
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.
ChefJune November 25, 2013
Mmmm I'm making this (a double batch) to take to Thanksgiving dinner. :)
If there are any leftovers, I'm bringing them home!
dymnyno November 25, 2013
Agree! This is one of my all time favorite recipes.
ChefJune November 29, 2013
eating leftovers for lunch the day after. SO delicious. Thanks, Merrill.
Author Comment
Merrill S. November 29, 2013
You're so welcome!
Leah D. November 7, 2013
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
CondimentQueen October 12, 2013
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
Author Comment
Merrill S. December 1, 2013
You're welcome!
Leanne S. September 9, 2013
Does anyone think capers would go with this meal? What about added kale?
Author Comment
Merrill S. December 1, 2013
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!
gotham G. June 1, 2013
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.
sel E. April 16, 2013
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.
Eldorado5 April 8, 2013
This is a great recipe. I used Kamut instead of farro and I roasted slivers of shallot along with the mushrooms. So very delicious!
Cathy H. March 29, 2013
Thank you! Would you change anything in steps 2 or 3 in the recipe if I substituted, say, barley for the farro?
dymnyno March 29, 2013
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!
rachel W. January 21, 2013
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: