I'm a huge fan of farro, a chewy, nutty grain. This lunch features farro cooked with earthy mushrooms, a fried egg, and a tangy herb yogurt. It is a hearty, nourishing, and balanced vegetarian meal and just what you need to get you through the workday.
About Cooking with Farro
Farro is an ancient grain with a nutty, earthy flavor and a slightly chewy texture. Not to be confused with spelt, farro is a versatile option for salads, stews, risottos, and grain bowls. Here, farro simmers in a flavorful base of mushrooms and vegetable stock until tender in a sort of simplified risotto fashion.
Tips for Buying Farro
There are three types of farro: whole (unpearled or whole grain), pearled, and semi-pearled. Whole farro has both the bran and germ of the grain intact, so it takes the longest to cook and requires an overnight soak. With pearled farro, the bran has been removed and cooks more quickly—usually within 15 minutes. Semi-pearled retains some bran, so the cooking time is closer to 30 minutes.
In this recipe, I call for semi-pearled farro. One tip I learned from Smitten Kitchen is that the packaging does not always label the type of farro. Instead, look for a package with cooking times between 25 and 30 minutes as that is most likely to be semi-pearled.
Regardless, I recommend tasting the farro after 25 minutes and adjusting the cook time as needed. If the grains are not fully cooked, but the liquid has fully evaporated, you can add an additional 1/2 cup of liquid at a time and continue simmering.
Frying Eggs to Perfection
Everyone has their method and preference for frying eggs. I love a crispy fried egg, so I will often fry the egg over medium heat. I recommend a non-stick pan to prevent any accidental sticking. If you're a fan of a classic fried egg, I highly recommend following this recipe for how to fry an egg.
Bringing your lunch to work? Just undercook the egg slightly, then reheat in the microwave under a damp paper towel in 15-second intervals until warmed through. Alternatively, just skip the egg! It'll still taste great without it.
Mix and Match the Vegetables
Not a fan of cremini mushrooms? Here are a few substitutions.
- Tear your favorite variety of wild mushrooms into bite-sized pieces before searing.
- Slice eggplant into rounds and pan-sear until nicely browned.
- Dice butternut squash and pan-sear until browned and caramelized.
If you already have some leftover roasted veggies, you can use them instead of the mushrooms and skip the sautéing step.
A Working Lunch
All three components can be made ahead for a working lunch at home or in the office. If working from home, you can make the mushroom farro and yogurt ahead of time. Just before serving, reheat the farro in the microwave and fry the eggs.
If you're bringing this lunch into the office, store the farro and mushrooms, eggs, and yogurt in separate airtight containers in the fridge. Just before serving, reheat the farro and mushrooms in the microwave, then reheat the eggs. Dollop a bit of yogurt on top and dig in!
More Grain Bowls for Lunch!
Farro, Mushroom, and Egg Grain Bowls
This recipe calls for semi-pearled farro. One tip I learned from Smitten Kitchen is that the packaging does not always label the type of farro. Instead, look for package instructions with cooking times between 25 and 30 minutes—they are likely semi-pearled farro.
For the mushroom farro
3 cups vegetable broth, plus more if needed
1 cup semi-pearled farro (See Recipe Note)
1 tablespoon canola oil
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned, thinly sliced, and divided
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
For the herb yogurt
1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely minced
1 small garlic clove, grated or finely minced
3 tablespoons water
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
For the fried eggs
4 large eggs
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Soak the farro:
In a medium bowl, pour in the farro and vegetable broth. Let soak while you cook the mushrooms.
Sear the mushrooms:
The next two steps involve cooking the mushrooms in two batches, one pan-seared and one sauteed; I like the combination in texture and flavor of the mushrooms from both methods.
Set a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add in the canola oil. When the oil shimmers, add about half of the mushrooms and sear on one side for 5 minutes until the bottoms are nicely browned.
Resist the urge to stir the mushrooms, as this helps give a nice sear. Use tongs to flip them, then sear on the other side for 3 to 4 minutes until browned. Remove from the pan and season with 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.
Sauté the remaining mushrooms and aromatics:
Reduce the heat to medium-low, then add the olive oil. Sauté the remaining mushrooms, onion, and garlic for 8 to 10 minutes (or until the onions are soft and translucent). Add another 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper to the mixture, then stir in the rest of the mushrooms.
Cook the farro:
Pour the soaked farro and vegetable broth into the pot with the onions, garlic, and cooked mushrooms. Be sure to scrape up any stuck bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Let the farro simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, until the grains feel tender but still have a slight chew.
Stir occasionally, and if you notice that the water is level is too low, you can add an additional 1/2 cup of broth at a time. Taste and season again with salt and pepper, if needed. Turn the heat off, then place the lid on to keep warm.
Make the herb yogurt:
While the farro cooks, prepare the yogurt. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, parsley, garlic, and water. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Fry the eggs:
Just before serving, fry the eggs. Crack two eggs into a small bowl and set them aside. Also, set aside two plates.
Set a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and add 2 teaspoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, carefully pour the eggs into the skillet.
Cook for 1 minute, watching as the egg begins to blister and bubble. Place the lid on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes or until whites are set. Season with salt and black pepper.
Use a non-stick spatula to transfer to the plate and cover with the other plate to keep warm.
Crack the remaining two eggs in the bowl, add another 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan, and repeat the frying process.
Assemble grain bowl:
To serve, divide the mushroom farro among 4 bowls. Top each bowl with an egg and a dollop of herb yogurt. Serve warm.
Store leftover mushroom farro, herb yogurt, and eggs in separate airtight containers in the fridge. The mushroom farro will last up to 4 days, garlic yogurt will last 3 to 4 days, and eggs will last 3 days.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 23g||30%|
|Saturated Fat 5g||24%|
|Total Carbohydrate 29g||11%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||15%|
|Total Sugars 8g|
|Vitamin C 13mg||65%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|