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Brown Ale Farro Risotto with Roasted Mushrooms

Brown Ale Farro Risotto with Roasted Mushrooms

 There is one thing I can’t stop doing every time I travel.

And not just when I get to leave the country, but even when I just leave the state. I just need to wander around a market. A locals only place, stocked with whatever people who live in the neighboring streets like to eat. Once while in Costa Rica, in a small and run down town, I found myself in a small market that had just lost all power.

Farro Beer Risotto with Roasted Wild Mushrooms3

"It happens," the shop owner told me, "We just stay open, hope the light from the door can reach to the back." I made a mental note not to buy any thing perishable, but did leave with 3 bags of coffee and an unidentifiably spice that I later used on roasted vegetables.

Sometimes these little adventures just bring me back to an ingredient that I forgot that I loved. My recent trip to a local market in a neighborhood heavily populated with Italian imigrants lead me to buy a bag of farro. I love this little grain, much more than rice, much more than quinoa and I can’t understand why it isn’t used more often. It doesn’t get mushy the way that rice can, it has a nice almost chewy texture, tons of those vitamins/protein/ health benefits that people seem to like, and much more flavor than other trendy grains.

Plus it cooks up really well with beer. Which means it wins.

Brown Ale Farro Risotto with Roasted Mushrooms


Brown Ale Farro Risotto with Roasted Mushrooms

Servings 4 entre sized portions, 8 side dish portions


For the Risotto:

  • 2 cups 15 wt oz faro
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • ½ white onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tbs unsalted butter divided
  • 1 cup plus ¼ cup brown ale, divided
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 wt oz about ¾ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

For the Mushrooms:

  • 8 wt oz assorted wild mushrooms
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  • Add farro to a large bowl. Cover with luke warm water, let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain well.
  • Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Add the mushrooms, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss until well coated. Roast for 15 minutes, stir and roast for an additional ten minutes. Drain the liquid off the mushrooms, set mushrooms aside.
  • Place the chicken broth in a saucepan and bring to a low simmer, keeping to warm, but not boiling.
  • In a separate pot, heat the 3 tbs olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, but don’t allow to brown. Add the garlic and cook until you can smell it, about 20 seconds
  • Stir in the faro and 3 tablespoons butter, cooking until the farro is completely coated with butter and it smells slightly nutty, don’t allow to brown. About 2 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of the brown ale and cook until the pan begins to dry, stirring frequently. About 6 minutes.
  • Add about ½ cup of broth into the farro. Stir frequently until the farro is almost dry, and then add another ½ cup and repeat until the farro is cooked. This process should take about 30 minutes. Don’t leave the risotto while it’s cooking, the farro on the bottom of the pan burns easily. (if you run out of broth, just use hot water the same way you would broth)
  • Once your risotto is cooked through (taste it to verify that the farro is cooked and not crunchy), turn heat to low and add the cheese, cream, remaining 3 tablespoons butter and ¼ cup brown ale and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the roasted mushrooms just prior to serving.

Brown Ale Farro Risotto with Roasted Mushrooms

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar March 24, 2014 um 5:11 am

I love visiting markets too. This recipe is so lovely and mushrooms are so fun to pick up at the farmers market!


Cindy March 24, 2014 um 9:22 am

First I love your site. Farro is hard to find except in the city and I am in a rural community. I try to stock up. Farro comes pearled and not pearled, I guess like barley you can buy both. Bobs Red Mill started selling farro but sad to say it is not pearled, which takes twice as long to cook. My question is which type did you use? Three microbreweries have started brewing in the last year in our small rural southern oregon county and it is so fun to go fill a growler.


Jackie March 24, 2014 um 12:24 pm

Thank you cindy! I didn’t use pearled, but you can. If you use either pearled or semi pearled it will cook quicker and there is no need to pre-soak.


Michelle Lahey March 24, 2014 um 9:53 am

I love farro, but always forget to use it in my own kitchen. Thanks for the reminder! This looks delicious.


Rebekah {aCricketSang} March 24, 2014 um 10:39 am

I would have never thought of this combination, but it looks amazing!


Happy Valley Chow March 24, 2014 um 6:44 pm

Another incredible recipe, fantastic job Beeroness!

Happy Blogging!
Happy Valley Chow


Tieghan March 24, 2014 um 8:45 pm

I have never cooked farro or had it, but this is a recipe to try!! Looks delicious!


Mike Morrell March 25, 2014 um 9:55 am

I’ve been making farro as a side rush for about 6 months now. I find it incredibly easy to cook, much easier than rice or similar grains. I used to cook a lot of quinoa but find that farro is easier and tastes much better.

I buy pearled Italian farro for $2.69 a pound at my local farmers market. At whole foods if you can find it it’s a lot more expensive. I eat it hot or cold And I even make a simple "salad" similar to macaroni salad with farro instead of macaroni. All you need to do is chop up some vegetables add some herbs and mayo or olive oil or the like. Farro is very versatile.

I’m ready to try this risotto recipe as I’m sure it will be excellent with Farro.


addie | culicurious March 26, 2014 um 8:00 am

Wow, this looks tasty!! I made risotto with short-grained brown rice recently and I think that’s probably close to what farro risotto would be like. I have some farro and will try that next time. Thanks, Jackie! 🙂


bev @ bevcooks April 1, 2014 um 7:52 am

Everything about this has me dyyyyyyying.


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