It is believed farro is the original ancestor of all other wheat species. In ancient Rome, farro was a staple food that provided the main source of nourishment for the Roman legions, and it was even used as a form of currency. Today this Old World heirloom grain is still highly regarded in Italy, where it has been grown for generations by Tuscan farmers and is featured in many traditional dishes. Try farro instead of rice in stews, casseroles and salads.
Using farro in place of rice gives a pleasantly chewy texture to this new spin on a classic risotto.
• 5-6 cups vegetable stock
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1/2 cup diced onion
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
• 1/2 cup farro, soaked overnight
1. Bring vegetable stock to a low simmer in large saucepan and keep warm. In a pan, saute onion in olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add farro and stir until coated with oil and beginning to release a nutty fragrance, about 2 minutes.
2. Add white wine, if using, and cook down until almost all liquid has been absorbed. Use a ladle to add warm stock to the farro, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until all liquid has been absorbed before adding more. Cook farro, adding stock as needed, until the grains have opened and softened, about 30 minutes.
3. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, add the sliced mushrooms and cook until tender. Add peas and cook until softened and bright green. Remove from heat and stir in butter and Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.
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