Farro Risotto

So have you tried farro yet?  Ever even heard of it?  I’ve only recently heard of it and then tried it while out to dinner a couple weeks ago.  It is delicious.  It’s an ancient Italian grain that is chewy and nutty tasting.  And it really lends itself well to risotto.  It’s also chock full of protein and other goodies so it would make an excellent vegetarian main dish as well if you use vegetable or mushroom stock instead of chicken.  Risotto can be a little time consuming, so I tend to pair it with things that are really easy to make (like chicken sausage).  But it is easy to prepare and so worth the effort!

Ingredients:

8 oz. baby portabella mushrooms (or any mixture of mushrooms you prefer) – sliced

5 cups (approx.) of Chicken stock (you may need to add more or less depending on how fast your farro cooks)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 cups uncooked farro (make sure you get “semi-pearled farro” or “farro perlato” which means the hull is removed and so it won’t take two hours to cook!)

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 teaspoon thyme

1/4 cup grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Heat a Dutch oven or heavy pan over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add farro and onion; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms, and a pinch of salt; sauté 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. Add thyme.
  2. Add 1/2 cup stock to farro mixture; cook over medium heat 4 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add 4 1/2 cups stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring occasionally until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding the next (about 35-40 minutes total).
  3. Add cheese, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste; stir until cheese melts.

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