I had been watching Giada on the Food Network and she made farro with cheese. I would have NEVER tried this recipe if I had not watched her make it. I had never tried farro, saw it in the store, or even heard of it. I would have assumed it was along the line something like quinoa, sorry to the Q lovers, but I am not a fan. The texture and taste…. no thank you. Thankfully, I learned its in the rice and barley family, that I am a fan of. Even though the list of ingredients was a bit longer than I prefer, many of the items I had on hand.
You make a roux for the sauce, with butter, flour, pepper, and milk. The measurements are below. The only hard items to find are the cheeses. They are in the speciality section of stores usually, not too expensive though just not as common as cheddar and mozzarella. I usually have fontina cheese on hand because, Its one of my favorite to snack on. After cooking the farro in the chicken broth, you mix it with the cheeses and sauce. It seems like a lot of work, but trust me its worth it. The hardest part is waiting for the farro to cook.
When mixing it, use a LARGE bowl. I know it says to in the directions, but no joke, I went through a few bowls trying to cut corners. Ive learned my lesson, and try to use a large bowl no matter what, or I read the directions all the way through. That does help too.
This dish smells great when baking and all the cook time is completely worth it when you take the first bite. All the cheeses blend together, the breadcrumbs create the perfect crunch, did I mention the cheeses? Seriously. The cheeses are delicious.
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, more if needed.
- 2 cups whole milk.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
- 1 cup grated Gruyere, wasn’t hard to find.
- 1 cup fontina cheese, grated.
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups faro or barley, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste.
- 1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
For the sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add the milk, whisking to prevent lumps. Simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick and smooth, about 10 minutes. Try not to let it boil or burn on the bottom.. Remove from the heat and season with pepper, to taste.
For the farro: In a large bowl, add the cheeses and stir to combine. Remove 1 cup of the mixture and reserve. In a large pot, add the chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium/high heat. Add the farro, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, if necessary. Add the farro, thyme, and sauce to the bowl with the cheese. Stir until combined and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with the reserved 1 cup of cheese. Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake until the top is golden brown about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!!
Here is Giada’s Recipie.