I am always on the lookout in my local farmers market for oyster mushrooms. I discovered them a few years ago, and fell in love with the suckers. I found some recently and decided that was going to be the dinner for that day. Then, an epiphany occurred. Lately, I have grown very fond of farro, a particular grain gaining popularity in the U.S. Farro is one of the oldest cultivated grains to come from the Middle East. Lucky for us, it’s now grown in Italy. So, I decided, why not oyster mushrooms over farro? And that’s the recipe given below.
Oyster mushrooms have a hearty, meaty flavor that reminds some of yes, chicken. Farro, which is shaped like rice, has a nutty flavor. So, why not combined the two? Well, the result, as Anthony Quinn would say in the movie Zorba the Greek, was splendiferous! Judge for yourself. And, if you can’t find oyster mushrooms, other varieties will do. You’re only limited by your imagination
HERBED OYSTER MUSHROOMS AND FARRO
1½ cups farro
3 cups chicken broth or water
1 pound oyster mushroom, cut into evenly sized pieces
I medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Rinse faro under cold running water. Place in a medium pot or pan with the chicken broth or water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes or until grains are tender. Drain off any excess water.
- Meanwhile, rinse oyster mushrooms under cold running water, and pat dry with paper towels. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat (I prefer cast-iron).
- Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 1-2 minutes. Add mushrooms and spread out in a single layer in the pan. Cook, undisturbed until they start to brown, 3-5 minutes.
- Stir the mushrooms, and cook another 3-5 minutes until browned all over.
- Add garlic and oregano. Reduce heat to low and cook until they are dark brown and slightly crisp, about another 4-5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place farro in serving dish, topped with mushrooms.
Yield: 4 servings or more