When I first heard someone talking about farro, I thought they were talking about Egyptian royalty. Although this farro is about as old as the pharaohs, that’s where the similarities end. Farro is an ancient grain that’s been gaining popularity in the last couple years. Similar in flavor and texture to bulgar wheat, barley, or spelt, it easily replaces those, and other hearty grains, in soups and salads. It’s also substantial enough to stand alone in recipes like this one. Prepared with meaty mushrooms, fresh spinach, and salty Parmesan, this farro recipe is a perfect for Meatless Monday meals, or as a healthy accompaniment to beef, chicken, or pork.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 c. farro, cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, diced
  • 2 c. fresh spinach, whole leaves or roughly chopped
  • 1-2 T. olive oil (or your favorite light oil)
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. white wine (optional)
  • 1/2 c. shredded or grated Parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste

While the farro is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook until the onions have caramelized and the mushrooms are dark brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one minute more. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

Add the vegetable broth, wine, and lemon juice to the pan, scraping off any brown bits on the bottom.

Add in the cooked farro and spinach. Cover for 2-3 minutes to get the spinach wilting. Uncover and turn the heat to medium, bringing the liquid to a boil. Cool another 5 minutes or so, until most of the liquid has absorbed or evaporated.

Turn off the heat, taste for salt and pepper. and stir in the Parmesan.

Serve alone, topped with a bit more Parmesan, of course, or as a side with your favorite protein.

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