1 cup farro or barley, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, or other dried mushrooms, such as shitake or morels
1 cup hot water
¼ cup white wine
1 cup mushrooms, vegetable or chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or other hard cheese such as Asiago, Manchego or Pecorino)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, dill, tarragon, chives, oregano and/or sage
Soak dried mushrooms in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid. Heat a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When hot, add olive oil, then add minced shallots. Sauté until translucent. Add drained farro and cook until a toasty fragrance emerges. Add wine and let cook for a minute, stirring often. Add reserved mushrooms and stir. Slowly add reserved mushrooms soaking liquid, being careful not to disturd the sediment. Add stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid, placed slightly ajar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes.
After 30 minutes, check farro for tenderness. (If not tender, continue to simmer, checking at 10-minute intervals until tender, adding more water if grains seem dry). Taste for seasoning. Add freshly ground pepper and grated cheese, stirring until incorporated. Taste again; add salt only if necessary. Add herbs and stir to mix. Serve immediately.
Recipe by Emily Casey