Mushrooms are flourishing right now. Rain, cool rain and more cool rain equals lots of fertile damp ground for these delicious little fungi to thrive. Facebook is full of people showing off their foraging bounty "What do I do with all these morels?!" Morels can run up to $40 per pound at local markets so this akin to finding cash moldering under your trees in the backyard. No luck in my tiny patch of city green, but it got me thinking about mushrooms and how good they are - meaty and substantial. I can't bring myself to pay up for portabello, shiitake or morels but I found some reasonable organic white and cremini varieties at my co-op and jumped on them. Farro is a perfect earthly compliment, the parmesan gives it a salty bite and the parsley and lemon freshen it up. I made this for a party and had leftovers the next day with some sliced sausage hot off the grill. Even better and highly recommend this for you meat eaters.
Mushroom Farro Salad
Serves 4 (makes 3 cups)Adapted from Merrill at Food52
1 1/2 cups pearled farro, toasted (optional)
4 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Roasted Mushrooms and all the rest
2 lbs fresh mushrooms (white and cremini)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 shallots, sliced thinly
3 ounces parmesan, crumbled*
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Fresh lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 475º
2. Wipe off mushrooms and trim stems flush with cap. Toss with 1/4 cup olive oil and salt and place on sheet tray lined with parchment, stem side down. Roast for 25 minutes then flip and cook for another 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle slice into 1/4 inch slices.
3. Saute shallots in a little olive oil over medium-low heat until soft (10 minutes).
4. Combine mushrooms and shallots with cooled farro, parsley and parmesan cheese. Squeeze juice from half a lemon over along with remaining olive oil, toss and serve.
* An easy way to "crumble" hard parmesan to to put it in the food processor fitted with the blade and pulse it. You should get tiny little nuggets.