Farro with Chanterelles, Apples, Apples and Apples

Farro, chanterelles, and King apples
Farro, chanterelles, and King apples

Chanterelle mushrooms are one of those magical ingredients which speak of fall, like asparagus in spring, or tomatoes in late summer. Sauteed, they pack a ton of flavor and there really is no substitute. My friend Will recently gave me a few beautiful King apples from his tree, and immediately I wanted to use them with chanterelles.

King_Apple2 I made two different preparations of these ingredients combined with farro, whose nuttiness complements the fruit and mushrooms. Today’s version is a hot entree, with the mushrooms sauteed in Calvados, and an artisanal apple “balsamic” vinegar emulsified with butter (like a beurre blanc technique but most definitely not blanc). Toasted caraway seeds in the farro add another autumnal flavor. I saute all of the ingredients in the same pan, and then build the sauce there as well, to maximize melding of the flavors.

If someone wants to try and make a substitute for the apple balsamic, I’d be interested to hear how it turns out. My guess is you would want to reduce some good apple juice along with cider vinegar and sugar and maybe apple butter. I’m sure it wouldn’t be the same as the real deal, but I realize that isn’t an everyday ingredient.

Farro, Chanterelles, Apples, Apples, Apples
Serves 4
Vegetarian; not vegan or gluten-free

  • 2 cups farro (whole or semi-pearled)
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 12 tablespoons (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter (8 tablespoons cut into 16 pats)
  • 4 generous handfuls chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned, dried, and quartered
  • 1/4 cup Calvados
  • 2 apples (Kings are nice), peeled and cut into medium dice (this will leave lots of odd shaped scraps which you can nosh on)
  • 1/3 cup Acetoria apple vinegar (not regular apple cider vinegar!)
  • fresh chives, minced
  • sea salt (Maldon (aka the world’s greatest salt)!)
  1. Rinse and boil the farro according to package directions. If no directions, bring to a simmer in a covered pot with the water and Kosher salt, then reduce to a simmer and cook about 45 minutes until tender. If the farro is semi-pearled, it may cook a lot faster than that. Don’t let it get mushy, we want a bit of a bite left.
  2. Put a large skillet over medium heat. Toast the caraway seeds for 15 seconds, then stir them into the farro. Keep the farro warm.
  3. Raise the heat on the skillet to medium high. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Saute the apples, turning occasionally until nicely browned and tender. Season lightly with sea salt and remove from the pan.
  4. Don’t clean the pan. Melt 2 more tablespoons of butter and saute the chanterelle mushrooms and a good bit of salt. Cook, turning occasionally until nicely browned and tender. Remove from the heat and add the Calvados. Stir. Return to the heat and carefully saute for 1 more minute – there is a chance the alcohol will flame up so be prepared and careful. Please skip this step and omit the Calvados if you don’t feel comfortable with the risk.
  5. Remove the chanterelles from the pan. Reduce heat to medium. Add the apple vinegar and reduce for just a few seconds, it is already quite thick. Add the pats of butter one at a time, whisking constantly to emulsify. (Like a normal beurre blanc technique). Remove from heat, taste and add salt as needed.
  6. To serve, place a ring mold in the center of a plate. Fill with one cup of cooked farro. Top with chanterelles. Spread 1/4 of the sauce on the plate. Sprinkle the sauteed apples around the sauce. Top the mushrooms with the minced chives. Sprinkle a bit of sea salt over the whole dish and enjoy. (See picture below for plating. Someday I’ll learn how to get sauce down all pretty like.)


Farro on Foodista

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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, October 27th, 2008 in Main Courses, Recipes.

20 Responses to “Farro with Chanterelles, Apples, Apples and Apples”

  1. Reply
    October 28, 2008 at 5:22 am #

    This sounds heavenly. I love Chanterelles…

  2. Reply
    October 28, 2008 at 5:26 am #

    I cannot even begin to tell you how I love the Chanterelle. In Russia, it was the cheapest mushroom and I ate it non-stop in the summer and fall. We made it a lot with sauteed onions and mixed it with pasta and sour cream (I know it sounds vile, but it was good!). This looks tremendous — and I like the apple element.

  3. Reply
    October 28, 2008 at 7:42 am #

    Love farro. This looks like a homerun. what a great dish for Fall.

  4. Reply
    October 28, 2008 at 8:12 am #

    Mmm, chanterelles and apples. Looks heavenly!

    a.k.a. The Hungry Mouse

  5. Reply
    October 28, 2008 at 8:52 am #

    This looks delightful. I’ve never used farro, but I’m keen to explore different grains and I love both mushrooms and apples.

  6. Reply
    October 28, 2008 at 12:58 pm #

    This looks like a wonderful recipe, absolutely dancing with fall flavors. I’m a big fan of farro (and apples and chanterelles)!!!

  7. Reply
    October 28, 2008 at 4:06 pm #

    I don’t drink alcohol, so I wonder if we could replace the calvados with an apple cider reduction. Hmmm …

  8. Reply
    October 28, 2008 at 5:33 pm #

    You have inspired me! I’ve bookmarked to make later, wish me luck with the flames 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  9. Reply
    October 29, 2008 at 12:55 pm #

    I’ve been waiting for the chanterelle recipes! More, more, more, please and thank you.

  10. Reply
    October 30, 2008 at 12:56 am #

    Farro is possibly my favorite grain, and one of my favorite foods ever- I am now educated to a new way to prepare it! Thanks!

  11. Reply
    November 1, 2008 at 3:53 pm #

    Beautiful plating.

  12. Reply
    November 5, 2008 at 6:10 pm #

    Here’s my big question, 5 minutes into making this dish! Can I use a real good cider vinegar, or will I be totally “cooked” without the $36 dollar special apple balsamic? That’ll teach me to start the recipe before REALLY reading it.

  13. Reply
    November 5, 2008 at 7:00 pm #

    Hi Kathy – the difference is that the cider balsamic is quite thick and sweet. So what you might be able to is reduce the cider vinegar with some sugar until syrupy. If you happen to have apple butter, add some of that and strain the result, that might be kinda close.


  14. Reply
    November 5, 2008 at 7:11 pm #

    Michael — Your response comes as I lick the last sauce off the plate. My inclinations were good! I added 2T of balsamic vinegar, 1/4 C of good quality cider vinegar, and a T of sugar. Cringed when considering 8 T of butter in the sauce alone so I cut back to six. I also substituted a great cognac for the Calvados (I’m upstairs and all these bottles are downstairs; I don’t pay as close attention to the producers as others). But what a fantastic dish! Next time I’ll be prepared and take it over the top. Thanks!

  15. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    November 5, 2008 at 7:17 pm #

    Kathy – awesome! Glad to hear you worked out a substitution and that it turned out well.

  16. Reply
    January 6, 2009 at 3:08 pm #

    I made this dish for my new year’s eve dinner and it blew my guests’ minds. i had never eaten farro and it was hard to find in montreal, but i finally tracked it down at an italian specialty store (along with some kind of apple balsamic something). the caraway seeds were inspired for adding some depth of flavour.
    couldn’t find fresh chanterelles so i used dried ones and still delicious.
    good one for practicing the plating too. THANKS!

  17. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    January 6, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    I’m so glad it was winner for you! Thanks for letting me know.

  18. Reply
    September 10, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    Great recipe! I was digging around for a seasonal chanterelle recipe to link/share on a recent post — this definitely satisfied the need. Thanks so much!

    link to saffronlane.typepad.com

  19. Reply
    November 13, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    I must say I gave up on chanterelles when I moved to the States: a certain grocery chain that would aptly be named WholeWallet charged $44.99 per pound 🙁
    The only times I made chanterelles here was when the Boston Costco carried them for about 6 weeks during which I made them every week.

  20. Reply
    November 15, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    I found a helpful blog post about faro, which clarifies that it comes in different varieties, to which Michael alludes as well – farro perlato or semi pearled vs whole grain farro. Details here: link to beyondsalmon.com

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