RECIPE

Farro with Asparagus, Hazelnuts and Kale Topped with Roasted Mushrooms

Toasting, roasting and sautéing develops the flavor of fruits and veggies to mix with farro for this versatile vegetarian-friendly dish, which can be served cold or hot.

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • 1 1/4 cups farro, pearled
  • 1 1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms (such as shiitake, crimini and hen of the woods), slice the criminis and coarsely chop the hen of woods and shiitakes
  • About 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided, plus extra for serving
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 bundle thin asparagus, trimmed and sliced on an angle
  • 1 small bundle flat Tuscan kale (also called Lacinato or dinosaur kale), stemmed and finely chopped
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry or Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped
  • Lemon juice, for serving
  • Sherry vinegar (optional)

Preparation

Pre-heat the oven to 450°F.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt the water and cook the farro to tender, 20 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, toss the mushrooms with about 4 tablespoons EVOO or just enough to lightly coat, then season with the thyme. Roast to deeply fragrant and brown. Season with salt and pepper.

While the mushrooms are in the oven, heat about 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan, in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, shallots and asparagus and cook to tender crisp, 2-3 minutes. Add the kale and wilt, season with salt and pepper and nutmeg, to taste. Deglaze with the sherry.

Toast the nuts in a small skillet until browned and fragrant.

Drain the farro and combine with the vegetables. Cool and store for a make-ahead meal. The farro can be served room temperature or reheated in a microwave or skillet. Store the toasted nuts in an airtight container at room temperature. Reheat the mushrooms in a skillet to warm through. Serve the farro and vegetables sprinkled with the nuts, a little lemon juice and top with roasted mushrooms.

Alternatively, the farro can be served as a cold salad and the mushrooms can be roasted off the night you want to serve it. If the cold farro is too dry, dress with sherry vinegar or lemon juice, and more EVOO.

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Rachael Ray