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Farro and Mushroom Burgers

YIELD: 10 patties

¾ cup farro
1 lb. sweet potatoes, pale flesh
6 Tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
¾ cup peanuts, chopped
1 lb. mushroom caps, brown, finely chopped
¾ tsp. kosher salt
4 Tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. dry white wine, dry vermouth or water
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated
1 cup lentil crumbs

1. Bring 2 ¼ cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the farro, return to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to medium-low, cooking until the farro is tender, about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, fluff the farro with a fork, cover and set aside.

2. While the farro cooks, boil the potatoes. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, add the potatoes, return the water to a boil, and cook until a paring knife easily slips into the center of the largest potato, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. Once the potatoes are cool, peel them and place them in a large bowl.

3. Remove the needles and leaves from the rosemary and thyme branches and place them in a large skillet along with the olive oil and black pepper. Warm the olive oil-herb mixture over medium-high, stirring occasionally. Once the herbs start cracking, after about 1 ½ minutes, add the peanuts and cook for 2 minutes or until a nice golden color. Add the mushrooms and salt. Cook the mushrooms until they release their liquid and the pan is dry again, 6 to 7 minutes, stirring often. Transfer the mushrooms to the bowl with the potatoes and set aside.

4. Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat in the skillet. Add the shallots and cook until they are soft and just starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and stir to work in any browned bits from the pan. Turn off heat and scrape shallots into a bowl with the mushrooms and potatoes. Add the Parmesan and farro. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the ingredients together.

5. Form the mixture into 10 patties. Place the panko or lentil crumbs in a shallow dish and press the top and bottom of each patty into the crumbs to evenly coat. Heat 3 Tbsps. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 5 patties and cook on each side until nicely browned and crusty, 8 to 10 minutes total. Remove patties from the skillet and place on a plate. Repeat with remaining patties, adding more oil between batches if necessary. Serve hot on buns with a chutney or house-made ketchup.

Photo and recipe: National Peanut Board

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