Mediterranean Farro with Mushroom and Tomato

Although the 1st day of summer is not here yet, you wouldn’t know it if you stepped out my back door.   I just picked my 1st ripe tomato today.  I heard cicadas singing a few days ago! I have cone flowers that are more than 6 inches across.  My bee balm is more than 5 feet tall!  Temperatures in the 90s and my garden is in full swing. What is happening?

After a dry winter that left my roses in very sad shape, we have had a very wet spring.  Folks round here have been making Seattle jokes, we’ve been seeing that much rain.  It is now settling in to a more summer like pattern with warmer nights.

Sadly, two little tomatoes are not enough to make the dish I have in mind, but fear not.  I have my “sun dried” tomato jam from last summer to give me all the tomato flavor needed for tonight’s dish.  Crimini mushrooms, onion, artisan salami, fresh basil and parmesan will make this farro dish sing.

This is a one pot meal that takes less than 45 minutes, with just 20 minutes of “hands on” time.  My guys rate it at 8.5-9.0.  I knew it would be good and made extra for my work lunches next week.

You’ll need:

Makes 5 meal size servings

olive oil as needed

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)

8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced

1 large yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thin

2 oz artisan salami, diced (I used a herb of province variety-use your favorite)

1/2 cup “sun” dried tomato jam or 1 1/2 cups fresh grape tomatoes cut in half

2 cups semi pearled farro (semi-pearled cooks faster than un-pearled, check the label)

4 cups water or broth

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced in ribbons (chiffonade)

fresh grated Parmesan

roasted sunflower seeds (optional)

balsamic glaze (optional)

Start slicing your mushroom, followed by the onions.

While chopping the veg….

Heat a medium large stock pan, once hot, add the olive oil, the pepper flakes and the sliced mushrooms.  Spread the mushrooms over the bottom of the pan and do NOT stir.  Increase the heat to medium high to help drive off the moisture coming off the mushrooms (you want them to brown).  Let them cook for 2-3 minutes before stirring.  Stir and let cook again for 2-3 minutes without stirring.  Repeat process until mushrooms are browned.  Reduce heat and add the chopped onion and add the tomato jam. (or a bit more oil and the fresh tomatoes).  Cook until the onions are transparent.  Add the diced salami and garlic.  Stir often.

Give the farro a quick rinse in a fine colander and add it to the pot.  Stir to coat the farro.  Pour in the water or broth.  Add salt, if desired.  Stir pot well and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat, cover  and simmer for about 20-25 minutes until liquid is adsorbed.

Serve hot with fresh basil and Parmesan. Add sunflower seeds and drizzle with balsamic glaze, if desired.  This dish tastes like you fussed over it.  You are not required to admit you didn’t.  Enjoy!

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