A hearty winter recipe made from simple and seductive ingredients
The link between mushrooms and health
Suppose you were at a cocktail party, and you had to answer an ice-breaker question about what vegetable would be your boyfriend? Mine would be a mushroom. So down to earth, exotic, sensual…but back to topic:
Have you noticed all of this talk about vitamin D deficiency? It seems as though everyone is being prescribed a supplement, but when I had a conversation with my physician about it, I told her I get plenty of sunshine, no supplement, thank you. I learned an interesting thing: you have to have vitamin D in your body to for the sunshine to wake it up, your body doesn’t just naturally produce it. Good news is that mushrooms are one of the only items on the produce aisle rich in vitamin D. Great news for me and long walks on the sunny fall beach with my vegetable boyfriend.
Of course, this recipe isn’t just about the mushrooms. This recipe is a one-two punch, matching the the seductive powers of mushrooms with the libido-boosting powers of farro.
What is farro?
Farro is an ancient grain. In fact, some historians believe that it is the oldest of all grains. It offers a nutty flavor and a more dense, chewy texture than most grains. Those with celiac disease should note that it is a type of wheat and not suitable for gluten-free diets. But it happens to be a grain high in protein, magnesium, B vitamins and fiber, which are all key to looking and feeling your most sexy.
For this recipe I use the quick-cooking farro sold at Trader Joe’s. If you plan to buy your farro elsewhere, be sure to select pearled farro, which takes much less time to cook than whole.
This simple recipe makes a one-pot, vegetarian main course with the ancient grain, farro as the base and mushrooms as the star.
- 8 oz quick cooking farro
- 2 leaves dried bay
- olive oil salt & pepper
- 8 oz brown cremini mushrooms cleaned, stems removed, sliced
- 1 shallot sliced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 oz of baby spinach
- 2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Pour the farro and bay leaves into the boiling water, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When farro is cooked to al dente, drain in a colander. Place farro in a large mixing bowl, remove bay leaf, and put aside to cool.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and drizzle enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, for about 3 minutes, until golden, then stir to turn and continue to cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, until juices release and mushrooms are completely brown. Season with salt and pepper and add to the farro. Drizzle a bit more olive oil in the pan and add the shallots and garlic. Cook for another few minutes, then add in the spinach and parsley, cooking just to wilt. Season with the vegetables with salt and pepper, then add the vegetables to the farro mixture. Stir everything together and taste for seasoning, adding additional olive oil, salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve farro warm, at room temperature or cold.
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