Farrotto with Tuscan Kale and Mushrooms
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 3-4
  • 200g (7 ounces) Farro
  • 2 tbsp of Olive oil
  • A medium onion, yellow or red, finely chopped
  • A small shallot, finely chopped
  • 4-5 long leaves of Tuscan Kale, hard stalks removed
  • A handful dried mushrooms
  • 250g (8.8 ounces) Champignon, Button or Cremini mushrooms
  • One liter vegetable stock, or hot water with an organic bouillon cube – more if needed.
  • A splash of white wine
  • Salt, to taste
  • (extra) one tablespoon of butter
For serving:
  • Good quality Extra Virgin olive oil
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino (skip to make it vegan)
  1. The night before, soak the farro in a bowl with double its volume in water. Make sure it stays there for at least 12 hours. The dried mushrooms will also need to be soaked for at least two hours, in a half cup of warm water. Reserve the water of the soaked mushrooms.
  2. Wash the kale, remove the stems and stalks (but don’t throw them out! They can be boiled until soft, pan-fried and eaten as a side dish) and thinly slice.
  3. Scrub the mushrooms well, detach the cap from the stalk. Cut off the butt-end of the stalk, remove any trace of dirt and thinly slice. Thinly slice the caps as well.
  4. Add the olive oil to a large, shallow pan, or to a pot. Let it heat a little bit and add the onions and shallots. Stir-fry on medium heat for 5 minutes, until translucent. In the meantime, drain the soaked mushrooms, reserving the water, and roughly chop them before adding them to the pan, along with the kale. Give everything a good stir, and let them cook on medium for 5 more minutes. Lower the fire if the oil sizzles too much or if your vegetables threaten to stick. Add the fresh mushrooms and their stalks.
  5. After 5 more minutes, scoop out a cup of the starchy soaking water of the farro and drain it. Add the farro, and stir well to coat it with the juices in the pan. Add a good pinch of salt, and stir well. After about 2 minutes it should turn slightly translucent. At this point, add the starchy water, the mushroom water – taking care that the residue of the bottom doesn’t get in the pan, and just enough stock to barely cover everything. Let it bubble on medium-low, and add the stock by the ladleful as the liquid dries out. After 20 minutes or so, it should start getting the classic risotto creaminess. Add liquid a little at a time, to achieve optimal creaminess.
  6. Cooking times will vary depending on what kind of farro you use: pearled should be ready in 25 to 30 minutes, while whole farro and spelt might take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. Keep in mind that organic grains take longer to cook.
  7. Check for taste and texture. Adjust salt to taste, and, when you are happy with the consistency, you can move on to the ‘mantecatura‘ – or finishing of the farrotto. Stir in the butter if using (I really believe this dish stands perfectly with olive oil alone), and one tablespoon of grated parmigiano per head or more. Dish up, and garnish with a teaspoon or two of extra virgin olive oil. Add more cheese if you like.
Recipe by Honest Cooking at https://honestcooking.com/farrotto-tuscan-kale-mushrooms/