Farro w/ Mushrooms & Thyme … and Scotland rocked!

finished in pan

I’m back from a whirlwind tour around Scotland.  What an awesome vacation.  We were a bit ambitious in trying to hit most of the mainland areas (plus Skye) in only 8 days, but I’m glad we were ambitious.  The scenery was incredible.  It felt so good to get right out in the middle of these awe-inspiring landscapes and breathe in the fresh air. I’m also a sucker for castles and all things medieval, so we visited A LOT of castles.

This was my first trip to Europe since high school (airport layovers do not count), and it definitely lived up to my fond memories from all those years ago.  There is just such a sense of history and heritage.

We took over 600 photos (don’t worry Mom and Dad, the highlight reel has been distilled down to about 200 :P).  Here are a few of my favorites.

Holyrood Park

Rannoch Moor

Kilt Rock & Mealt FallsOld Mann of Storr

Urquhart Castle

drive to Kingairloch Estate

We did have one hitch in our trip.  I was mindlessly opening the camera battery slot one night, and the metal plate broke.  Honestly, I was so confused.  I barely pushed in, just was sliding it like I always do, and disaster.  Expensive mistakes may be the worst kind.  Anyway, for the remainder of the trip we used one of my elastic hairbands to keep it functioning.  And now I believe I’m off the hook for having to buy a new camera, thanks to Kevin’s patience and some Krazy glue. :)

Now, back to food.  Have you tried farro yet?  I had it for the first time a few months ago, and think it might be my favorite grain.  It’s similar to a wheat berry, but a little softer.  I love its chew and golden brown color.  So far I’ve only used it in salads, but I’m sure it would be fun to use in more creative venues.  Like most grains, give it a good washing.

unwashed farrowashing farro 1

washing farro 2washed farro

Mushrooms and sherry are a great flavor pairing.  The mushrooms are hearty enough to stand up to the bite.

cremini mushroomsthe sherrys

Shallots and fresh thyme, mmm I like where this is heading.


cooking 1

cooking 2

finished on plate

This salad can be served warm or at room temperature.  It’s pretty filling, so even makes a good stand-alone lunch.  If you’re not feeling too keen on buying a bottle of sherry, I hear you.  But I felt much better after realizing a good bottle of sherry was only about $11 and lasts indefinitely in the fridge.

Farro w/ Mushrooms & Thyme – barely adapted from Cook’s Illustrated vol. 120 (CooksIllustrated.com/feb13)

  • 1 cup farro, rinsed
  • table or fine sea salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 10oz. cremini mushrooms, trimmed and chopped coarse
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp. dry sherry
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. sherry vinegar

Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven or large pot. Stir in farro and 1 tbsp. salt. Return to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 min. Drain well and set aside.

Heat oil in 12″ skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms, shallot, thyme, and ¼ tsp. salt; cook, stirring frequently, until moisture has evaporated and vegetables start to brown, 5 to 8 min. Add sherry and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until pan is almost dry, 1 to 2 min. Add farro and cook, stirring constantly, until heated through, about 2 min. Remove pan from heat, stir in parsley and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Yield – 4-6 servings


6 thoughts on “Farro w/ Mushrooms & Thyme … and Scotland rocked!

    • Yup, I’ve seen it at all 3 grocery stores around me. It runs around the same price as quinoa, so can be kinda pricey (so wish I had a great grocery store w/ bulk bins / dry goods section). Farro is emmer wheat, and has a nutty flavor & chewy bite. Barley is pretty similar, but less nutty and chewy (in the grass family).

  1. Isn’t Scotland so gorgeous? I went before I got married and fell in love with it. Your pics are incredible!

    Your farro looks delish. If my family wasn’t gluten free I’d give it a try!

    • Thanks Dana! Yes, it was so beautiful. I’d love to go back one day, but there are so many other places I want to travel to, it might be a few decades before I get back :P

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