Farro, Mushroom, and Leek Gratin

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  • Makes 5 cups

This hearty casserole has all the flavors of holiday dressing. With its creamy sauce, chewy farro, and crispy topping, this gratin is a delight to the senses. Use crushed crispbread for the best-texture topping.

The key ingredient in the creamy sauce is soaked cashews: After a 30-minute soak in hot water, you’ll blend them with a few flavorful ingredients to make a fabulously simple, rich-tasting sauce.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup farro
  • ½ cup unsweetened plant milk
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups assorted fresh mushrooms, such as button, cremini, oyster, and/or shiitake, sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced leeks
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups torn fresh kale
  • ⅓ cup crushed multigrain crispbread, such as Wasa brand, or whole wheat panko bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine cashews with enough hot water to cover them; soak cashews for 30 minutes; drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium saucepan bring broth to boiling. Stir in farro. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 20 to 25 minutes or just until tender. Drain any excess liquid.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small food processor or blender combine drained cashews with milk, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, and onion powder. Cover and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. In an extra-large skillet cook the next five ingredients (through garlic) over medium 5 to 6 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally and adding water, 1 to 2 Tbsp. at a time, as needed to prevent sticking. Stir in kale; cook 2 to 3 minutes more or just until kale is wilted. Stir in cooked farro and cashew puree. Spoon into a 2-qt. baking dish.
  5. Bake, covered, 15 minutes. Sprinkle with crushed crispbread. Bake, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes more or until crispbread is toasted.

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about the author

Carla Christian

Carla Christian, RD, LD, received her associate’s degree in culinary arts from The Culinary Institute of America in 2006 and her bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Michigan State University in 2009. She finished her dietetic internship from The University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2010 and is a former chef in the Better Homes and Gardens® Test Kitchen. Photo by Jason Donnelly

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