Risotto is yum, Farro Risotto is amazingly yum! I love this humble grain mixed with fresh spring veg & topped with chive blossoms. Last week I took AnnieRie's advice and headed down to the Silver Spring Farmer's Market. I picked up: ramps, chive blossoms, kohlrabi, asparugus and lots of cheese. All of them tuck - quite neatly - into creamy farro risotto.
Here's how I did it:
Ingredients: - 2 cups of farro - 4 cups of veg or chicken stock - 2 kohlrabi, diced - 4 or 5 of ramps, diced (substitute garlic) - 2 shallots, diced - 1 bunch of asparagus - 1 chive blossom per bowl - 1/2 cup of parm, grated - 1/2 cup of gouda, shredded - 1 bay leaf - 4 dried mushrooms (optional) - olive oil - 1 tbsp butter - salt & pepper (s&p)
Method: - In a large bowl, soak your farro in water. This softens the farro a bit and you always rinse your dried goods (beans, lentils, etc..) before you cook with them, right?! - While they soak, in another pot bring your stock + bay leaf + dried mushrooms up to a simmer, reduce heat to low - Now prep your veg (ramps, kohlrabi, asparagus) and sauté them in a large dutch oven, in olive oil, season with s&p - When the veg start to loosen up, after 10 mins, transfer them in a heat safe dish. Add butter and olive oil to the dutch oven. While it heats up, dice your shallots and then toss them in. - While they sweat over medium heat, drain your farro and prep your cheese - Stir your farro into the shallots, and add stock one ladle at a time. Just like regular risotto. For the next 20 mins you'll be ladling and stirring - and maybe sipping wine. No walking away. - After 20 mins, taste your farro. It should have some firmness but no crunch. Too firm? Continue to stir and ladle, check the firmness again in 5 mins. If you're done, add your veg back into the pot, stir in cheese too. Lid on and reduce the heat to low. Let everything hang out while you finish that glass of wine. Ten miutes later stir again and plate it up. - Don't forget the chive blossoms. Gently break each one over the dish. Scattering the petals. So yum.
The foundation of this meal is the farro, but the appearance of springtime veg makes this special. Ramps sing quite nicely in this dish, and the chive blossoms add an elegant onion flavor to each bite. Have fun with all of the springtime veg. Soon it will be gone and we'll be up to our eyes in tomatoes and cucumbers!