Farro is a type of wheat, also called Emmer. You can find it in most specialty stores, and maybe your standard grocery store, depending on where you live. It is easy to prepare and it makes this dish hearty and satisfying. You could also substitute wheat berries or pearled barley if you can't find farro.
Prepare the rest of the ingredients while the grain cooks, and your can have this meal on the table in about an hour.
Check out the recipe video to see how it's done.
1 ½ cups pearled farro
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound mixed mushrooms (I used white button, baby bella plus chestnut and another type from a grower at a farmers market)
7 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup thinly sliced shallots, onion
3 large leaves of kale, torn into pieces
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1 cup mascarpone
1 cup chopped parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups shredded Gruyère or swiss cheese
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Cook the farro in boiling salted water according to the package directions. It should take about 20 minutes. Taste a few grains to make sure it is fully cooked before taking it off the heat. Drain the farro in a colander and add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to it while it is still warm. Toss to coat, to keep the grains from sticking together.
Chop the mushrooms into ½ inch pieces and spread them out in a roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet. Add the shallots, torn kale and the sprigs of thyme. Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of oil onto the mushroom mixture and toss well to coat. Season with salt and pepper, then roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, tossing once after 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven when the mushrooms have carmelized a bit. Fish out the thyme sprigs. Combine the mushrooms with the farro in a baking dish. Set aside a few teaspoons of the chopped parsley. Add the mascarpone, the rest of the parsley and the cherry tomatoes. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper if needed. Top with the gruyere cheese and bake uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until the dish is heated through and the cheese is melted.
Remove from the oven, top with remaining parsley and serve.
This recipe is inspired by one from Melissa Clark, from New York Times Cooking.