No matter how much I blog about simple foods = good foods, I still get amazed when a simple recipe turns out fantastic. Farro with mushrooms and walnuts was one of those dishes. I’ll say it once again: IT’S SO SIMPLE. Part of what makes me excited about the simplicity of this ancient grain dish is that it reminds me of risotto but is much quicker and easier.
I remember the first time I made risotto. My friend Juliet taught me, and she described it like this: “Then you stir and you stir and you stir.” She wasn’t wrong, and the risotto was delicious, maybe because of the stirring, but more likely because we ended up using half a bottle of wine (and drinking the rest)!
On a good day, I will make risotto, but today, I want the machines to do the labor. The Instant Pot will cook the farro. The oven will roast the mushrooms. And the blender will turn a handful of nuts into a fresh sauce. All I had to do was chop some parsley!
Cooking Farro in the Instant Pot
I used Bob’s Red Mill Farro, which takes a longer cooking time than others. If you purchased 10-minute farro (Trader Joe’s is common) or quick farro, my method might apply. Check out this resource for all you need to know about cooking different types of farro in an Instant Pot.
Or, if you find yourself with heavy-duty farro, like I did, simply add farro and water to the Instant Pot in a 2:3 ratio. That means 2 parts farro, 3 parts water. In my case, I used 1 1/2 cups farro and 2 1/4 cups water. Then add salt to taste. Cook manually on high pressure for seven minutes then drain any excess water.
Roasting Mushrooms in the Oven
Put a pound of mushrooms on a baking pan and toss them with two tablespoons olive oil, plus salt and pepper. Put in a 400 Fahrenheit oven for 15-20 minutes.
I’ve written about roasting before–it’s one of my favorite low intensity cooking methods. Check out this resource for a comprehensive vegetable roasting guide!
It might sound odd, but I love hot foods with salad dressings. Your body probably does, too, since olive oil is healthier fresh than heated. In this dish, I especially love the bite of that fresh garlic, which balances the comforting flavors of grains, nuts, and mushrooms.
To make the dressing, I used a blender. I zapped 1/4 cup walnuts with 1/4 cup olive oil until smooth. Then, I added a clove of garlic, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and gave it one more whirl.
Finally, combine all your elements in a large bowl, and add some freshly chopped parsley.Print
Farro with Mushrooms and Walnut Lemon Sauce
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: dinner, salad, hot salads
- Method: roast
- Cuisine: Italian, American
- Diet: Vegan
This ancient grain salad gives a refreshing, nutritious spin to classic, comforting risotto.
For the Farro with Mushrooms
- 1 pound baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup farro
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped (or 1/2 cup chopped parsley)
For the Walnut Dressing
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 heaping cup walnut halves
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit.
- On two baking trays, toss sliced mushrooms with 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill Instant Pot with farro, 2 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Using the manual function, cook on high for seven minutes. Farro should be al dente.
- To make the dressing, blend the walnuts and 1/4 cup olive oil in a blender for a minute, or until the nuts create a smooth paste. Add the lemon juice, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and blend for another 20 seconds, or until the garlic is pulverized.
- To a serving bowl, add the farro, mushrooms, dressing, and chopped parsley. Serve hot.
Stovetop method: If you don’t have an Instant Pot, bring the water, farro, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer and cook covered for the amount of time your farro requires. Pearled farro needs 15-20 minutes and whole farro needs 35-40 minutes. Ten-minute farro needs, well, I’m guessing 10 minutes! Drain farro when it’s ready to use.
Keywords: farro, mushrooms, parsley, risotto, comfort food, walnuts, olive oil, vegetarian, vegan