Farro with Morel, Cremini Mushrooms and Asparagus.
Vegetarian Time's magazine had a section on Mushroom recipes in their May 2016 issue. I had been wanting to try Morels but was not sure if wanted to just cook them up or kind of put them in a party. This worked well. I switched up the recipe a bit but came out great regardless. I brought some ingredients home from work. Asparagus, Morels, Cremini's, Black Radish, Fiddle Ferns. No the radish nor ferns were in this recipe but my husband looked at it all and said, "You planning to do some voodoo tonight?"
I admit the reason think wanted to include the Morels with other ingredients is because they are so ugly. I mean they look like a cover of a rock poster from the 60's Haight Ashbury Days! Off to the internet on how to clean these babies.
Morels are pricey at around $30 a pound unless you forage them yourself. So to clean them rinse them off and then place in a bowl with salty water. You well see them kind of turn as whatever maybe little bugs or whatever will expel from the morel. The water will murky up. Just keep changing every 15-20 minutes or so until the water is clear. Some people say overnight. Some say for hours but I had mine cleaned in about 40 minutes. Drain the water and place on a paper towel to drain the water a bit. If you are storing your morels until the next day or so, place them on damp paper towels in layers in the fridge. Not soggy damp but just well wrung paper towels.
- Quarter to Half a pound of Morel mushrooms. Up to you depending on your budget.
- One third pound, bit past a quarter pound that is unless you want more of the Cremini mushrooms.
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable or whatever broth you have on hand if you are not a Vegetarian.
- 2 cups semi pearled Farro.
- 1 small onion or medium. Does not kill the outcome either way.
- 1-3 Garlic cloves depending on how much you like garlic.
- 1/2 cup lemon juice.
- 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon. Now this herb does taste a lot like licorice/anise so if you do not like those flavors, I am sure any fresh herb that you like will be wonderful.
- 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts.
- One bunch asparagus end trimmed and cut diagonally into 1-1.5 inch pieces.
- Cooking oil.
- So of course you should start by cleaning your morels before starting.
- Faro is not like cooking rice, it is like cooking pasta. Just put your two cups of faro (more or less up to you) with enough liquid/broth over the faro to bring it to a boil four about 25 minutes. Just keep checking it to your desired doneness but 25 minutes worked for me. Drain reserving half a cup of the cooking broth.
- Toast hazelnuts in the oven or in a pan stovetop until fragrant, a bit browned but not burnt.
- Add some oil to a pan and sauté the garlic and onion for a couple of minutes. Then add your mushrooms. Season with salt/pepper. Add chopped asparagus and cook down about five minutes.
- Mix broth with the lemon juice with tarragon if you chose to go the tarragon route. Or any herb you do like.
- Throw faro into the pan with the mushrooms and asparagus. Pour in the broth mixed with lemon juice and your choice of herb.
This dish was good that night but I brought in all of it to share with some co workers. They thought like I, it was delicious. We are now all lovers of Morel mushroom and can't wait to try maybe with some polenta next time!
Remember, life is too short to eat badly!