Make Ahead

Double Mushroom & Kale Farro

September  6, 2016
4 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

I like to pack lots of vegetables into grain-based dishes. In fact, you could say this is a vegetable-based dish with the added bonus of whole grains. Mushrooms and kale combine with farro for a filling one-pot meal that will make you forget that this is meat-free. Swap out the chicken stock for vegetable stock to make it totally vegetarian.

It’s important to use pearled farro here, and not semi-pearled or regular farro. Using other types of farro will result in a cooking time well over the 20 minutes stated below.

This makes six servings, but also freezes well if you don’t have that many mouths to feed. —Leslie Engel

Test Kitchen Notes

I loved this recipe and I can see it becoming a staple in my winter cooking—it was filling, delicious, and I especially liked the addition of the greens. I used fresh mushrooms and arugula (instead of kale) from my local farmer’s market and used arborio (risotto) rice because that’s what I had on hand. I followed the recipe instructions (with a little extra stirring) and it was amazing! Using both dried and fresh mushrooms gave it a great flavor, and utilizing leftover mushroom "stock" was fantastic. I will definitely be making this again! —Emily Love

What You'll Need
  • 1 ounce mixed dried mushrooms, rehydrated and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water (for rehydrating mushrooms)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 pound mixed fresh mushrooms (cremini, porcini, maitake, etc.), sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 1/2 cups pearled farro (see note above)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 1/2 bunch Tuscan kale, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives (optional, for garnish)
  1. Place dried mushrooms in a bowl and add 1 1/2 cups of hot water to cover. Set aside until mushrooms are soft, about 30 minutes. Drain mushrooms through a fine-mesh sieve, collecting the liquid in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Set mushroom liquid aside. Slice rehydrated mushrooms.
  2. Warm chicken stock in a small pan or in the microwave.
  3. Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add fresh sliced mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until soft (but not mushy) and reduced by roughly half, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and place cooked mushrooms in a bowl.
  4. Heat olive oil in the same pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add farro and stir to coat with oil, about one minute.
  5. Add 3/4 cup of warmed chicken stock, allowing it to bubble away before adding the remaining stock. Unlike a risotto, you do not have to constantly stir the farro, but do keep an eye on it and stir as needed.
  6. Once the stock has been absorbed, add the reserved mushroom liquid. When most of the mushroom liquid has been absorbed, add all the mushrooms (rehydrated and fresh) to the pan. Total cooking time until this point should be 20 minutes or less.
  7. Add the kale and cook until it is bright green and wilted, about a minute or two. At this point most of the liquid should be absorbed. If not, turn up the heat slightly and continue stirring for an additional minute or two. Check the farro: It should be chewy, not crunchy.
  8. Stir in the cheese and thyme, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with additional cheese and optional fresh chives as garnish.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Gingarr
  • Kathy Lee
    Kathy Lee
  • kschurms
  • Sarah
  • Emily Love
    Emily Love

16 Reviews

Gingarr January 5, 2020
I just made this tonight and it is so good! I used fresh and dried cremini mushrooms. I also used pearl barley instead of farro and it turned out great.
Gingarr January 5, 2020
Using barley I had to cook it about 20 minutes longer and added about 1 cup more chicken stock
Kara December 15, 2017
This was delicious! I was hesitant to use the dried mushrooms as I'd never cooked with them before but the flavor was unreal - so happy I didn't use all fresh! I added thyme but not dill and to be honest, if you don't have thyme, I don't think the dish loses anything. My husband loved this, too! I will definitely be adding it to our winter rotation.
shannon November 28, 2017
The only thing that I would choose to sub would be the chicken stock and use veggie (being a vegetarian) and this was in the e-mail for best vegetarian dishes. Can't wait to try it this weekend!
Christina T. December 29, 2016
This was so earthy and delicious. I made this for dinner and my husband was super stoked on it (as was I). Pair this with a brambly pinot noir.
Alison November 20, 2016
well, I did make it with barley (which is what was in my pantry) and it was quite delicious, so I think this recipe can accommodate some variation, like many dishes of this sort. I agree about sticking with the recipe as much as possible the first time out, but the success of a substitution really depends on the type of dish, my past experience with similar dishes, and what I need/want to substitute. However, next time, I promise to try it with farro (which I do love)!
Kathy L. October 19, 2016
I would think farro would be the main component of this dish along with the kale and mushrooms. I don't see how subbing these out would keep the integrity of the dish? Sorry if I'm being obnoxious, but I had to say something.
Leslie E. October 20, 2016
II get where you're coming from, Kathy. Indeed, substitutions would make this a different dish altogether. My philosophy on recipes is to try it first as written, then riff on it. Recipes are to be used as jumping off points!
Alison September 25, 2016
this looks fantastic--a great combination, and looks like it will work with a variety of grains. I might try barley...Sarah, my husband has similar views of what makes a meal, and I will likely add some sausage or perhaps ham. I usually don't have to add much, works well if I treat it as more of a flavoring or garnish.
Leslie E. September 25, 2016
Thanks Alison! Barley would definitely work in this, and I agree, some sausage or even bacon could be a good addition.
kschurms September 25, 2016
I loved this! Didn't have any farro on hand, so I used pearled israeli couscous, everything else the same. I found it needed a bit of acidity, so I added some lemon juice and a sprinkle of sumac as garnish
Sarah September 24, 2016
If I wanted to add meat to this what would you recommend? It looks delicious but my husband doesn't feel satisfied unless a meal has protein, preferably animal. ;) Thanks!
Leslie E. September 25, 2016
I would recommend adding even more mushrooms and seeing if your husband notices that this is meat-free! Kidding aside, I think that a little bacon or some loose Italian sausage crumbled into the dish would work nicely.
Emily L. September 15, 2016
I tested this for a contest but I wanted to share my love down here too! This was delicious! I made it with mushrooms and arugula from my farmer's market, and arborio rice instead of farro because that's what I had on hand. I followed the directions exactly (plus a little stirring for the risotto rice) and it turned out perfectly. I can see myself making this throughout the winter - it was comforting and filling!
Leslie E. September 21, 2016
Thanks Emily! I'm glad that you enjoyed this! It is a versatile recipe that takes to substitutions well!
Bee September 6, 2016
Looks Delicious! I'm making this tonight! :)