I love to experiment with different, healthful whole grains and this clean eating farro risotto adds to my whole grain repertoire that mainly consists of oats, brown rice, barley, millet and the pseudo grain quinoa.
Some of you know that I plan and cook a whole grain dish once per week. Farro is in this context a welcome variation. In this simple but rich, creamy, risotto-like dish, Farro replaces the rice.
Don’t confuse Farro with Spelt!
This special grain is an ancient strain of hard wheat from the Fertile Crescent in western Asia. Farro is the Italian name for emmer wheat and if you never heard of it before I will give you some buying tips at the bottom of this recipe.
Farro has a good consistency, more chewy than rice so it offers a more satisfying and filling experience. I love it especially for its roasted, nutty flavor.
Clean Eating Farro Risotto – The only caveat!
The only caveat… it is not the quickest grain to cook – whole farro needs about 40 minutes to cook, Farro semi-perlato about 25 minutes. But in my eyes it is worth it as the result is both luscious and delicious. But you can also make it in large batches and freeze portions to always have on hand. For the recipe below I’ve used semi-perlato Farro.
- • 300 g Farro semi-perlato (rinsed well)
- • 2 tablespoon olive oil
- • 2 sliced onions
- • 3 tablespoon diced carrots
- • 3 cups broccoli florets
- • 1/2 teaspoon salt
- • 0,75 l vegetable broth
- • 2-3 tabespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat oil in a large saucepan.
- Add onions, carrots, salt and cook over medium heat about 3 minutes.
- Stir in farro and cook, stirring constantly, until the grain begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup of broth and cook uncovered, over medium-low heat, stirring from time to time, until broth is absorbed.
- Add more broth whenever required making sure most of the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Adding it bit by bit keeps farro firm and concentrates the flavor of the dish.
- For a contrast rich "look and feel" like on the photo above you can steam the broccoli florets separately for 5-7 minutes.
- A simpler preparation method however would be to add broccoli florets with the last addition of liquid. Cook until risotto is creamy and vegetables are crisp-tender.
- Serve with Parmesan cheese.
- Watch the time, and don't let the broccoli overcook!
- Did you know that broccoli and other green vegetables will turn from vibrant green to drab olive green at about the 7 minute mark of cooking?
Farro Buying Tips
So where can you buy Farro to try out your own version of farro risotto?
Do you have Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods in your area? When in doubt, there’s always Amazon.
Time Saving Tips
To save some cooking time you may want to soak farro the night before to reduce the cooking time to just 10 minutes. Another time saving option is to buy semi-perlato farro..