Cheesy baked farro

  • Preparation Time45 mins
  • Cooking Time60 mins
  • Serves6
  • DifficultyEasy
Vegetable oil cooking spray

For the sauce

55g unsalted butter
500ml warm whole milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the farro

565g grated Parmesan
225g grated Gruyere
110g fontina cheese, grated
1.5 litres chicken broth
450g farro or barley, rinsed and drained
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
60g plain flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
110g plain dried breadcrumbs
Olive oil, for drizzling
1) Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.

2) Spray a 23cm x 33cm baking dish with cooking spray.

3) For the sauce: In a 2 litre saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add the warm milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick and smooth, about 8 minutes (do not allow the mixture to boil). Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

4) For the farro: In a large bowl, add the cheeses and stir to combine. Remove 110g of the mixture and reserve. In a large stock pot, add the chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the farro, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the farro is tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, if necessary. Add the farro, thyme, and sauce to the bowl with the cheese. Stir until combined and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with the reserved 110g of cheese. Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil.

5) Bake until the top is golden brown and forms a crust, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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