Digging out of a blizzard, enjoy winter wonderland and cross country skiing, a risotto is just the right fare. Giada di Laurentiis was cooking a risotto with farro the other day on Giada At Home, and I was enticed. Farro is a ancient grain and looks like wheatberries. It has a nutty flavor, and it works really well in salads.
She prepared her farro risotto like a regular risotto, and added sultanas, pine nuts, feta cheese and parseley. For me it ended with the sultanas, because I dislike anything raisins. I rolled with the basic idea and turned it into a mushroom farro risotto, adding mini portabella mushrooms, dried porcini and some pecorino. It was very flavorful and creamy, and I must say I almost like it better than the arborio rice version because the nutty flavor and creamy texture of the farro went perfectly well with the mushrooms.
(makes 2 servings)
1/2 cup dried farro (available on Amazon.com or Gustiamo.com)
1 TB olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup portabello button mushroom, chopped
1-2 oz dried porcini
3 cups of beef bouillon, heated
pecorino (or parmesan cheese)
Heat the beef stock, and add the porcini mushroom to rehydrate for 5 min. Remove and chop.
In a heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil and add the shallot, and saute for 1-2 min. Add garlic and saute for another 1 min. Add the farro and 'toast' it in the oil, shallot and garlic mix for ca 1-2 min. Add the white wine, stir and cook down the wine until almost evaporated (all on medium heat).
Now, add all the mushrooms and porcini and 1/4 cup of the beef stock, and stir and slowly cook down the liquid. Once the risotto become dry, add another 1/4 cup of beef stock. Repeat until the farro is softened, about 25-30min. Always check, and stir, and add more liquid (you might need more or less than the 3 cups, but make sure to add hot broth). Once the farro is soft and creamy, take it off the heat, and grate in a few tablespoon of pecorino and stir. Serve!