The single thing I need you to promise me is that you will season this well at each stage with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes too if you’d like more of a kick. When an ingredient list is short, the correct level of seasoning will make an even bigger impact. If you’d like to use broth instead of water, you absolutely can but I just used water each time and didn’t feel that I was missing any flavor. Farro cooking times can vary between brands; when in doubt, default to the cooking time listed on the package (be it 10-minute or 60-minute farro).
- 3 to 4 tablespoons (45 to 60 grams) unsalted butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) olive oil
- 3 cups fresh corn kernels (from 3 to 4 cobs)
- Kosher salt
- 3 cups (710 grams) water
- 1 cup (205 grams) semi-pearled farro
- 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- 2 tablespoons (20 grams) minced scallions or fresh chives for garnish
- Grated parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
Heat a medium saucepan (3 quarts) over medium-high heat for a minute. Once it’s hot, add 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil and warm. Add corn and 1 teaspoon salt and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, just until the corn softens a bit. Scoop half of corn into the work bowl of a food processor or blender and set aside. Add onion, garlic, farro, black pepper and red pepper flakes to corn in pot and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, just to start softening the ingredients. Add water, another 1 teaspoon salt, more pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes [or whatever cooking time the package of farro suggests], until the farro is tender with a slight chew and the water has mostly absorbed.[If you’re getting a lead on dinner, this is a great time to pause the recipe. Just let it sit with the lid on for an hour or two, until needed. Rewarm before continuing.]
Add remaining 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter — the correct amount is whatever is in your heart that day; both levels work — to the food processor and blend with the corn until absolutely smooth. Taste and add more salt (I usually add another 1/2 teaspoon here), blending to mix it.
When the farro is tender, taste the mixture for seasoning, adjusting as needed with more salt, black pepper, or red pepper flakes. If you have a lot of leftover cooking liquid, use a slotted spoon to hold back the grains and pour or ladle some off. With the pan off the heat, stir in the blended corn butter. Transfer to a serving bowl and finish with scallions or chives and parmesan, if you wish.