After last week’s fried avocado egg rolls, I felt the need to repent. But, let’s be real, I’m not really interested in repenting for my food choices. Because as one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers says, “I’m the CEO of my own body” and I can choose to eat or not eat whatever I want. But I do try to eat healthfully whenever possible, and the easiest way to do that is to make sure that healthy food tastes delicious.
Risotto is delicious and much easier to make than people think it is. It is also a great way to get rid of leftovers because literally anything that has been languishing in your produce drawer tastes great when simmered with wine, herbs, and cheese. Obviously. But, pretty much everyone agrees that white rice is pretty terrible for you. So when I read that you can cook farro like you would risotto, I was both eager to try it and also a bit skeptical. Often food bloggers try to make healthy substitutions and talk them up like they are the most delicious thing on the planet, but then you make it, and it is absolutely terrible. For example: cauliflower rice. Even though cauliflower is one of the best and most versatile vegetables around, it just doesn’t work when you pulse it in the food processor and call it rice. Stop trying to make fetch happen, Gretchen.
Anyway, the good news is that farro risotto is not like cauliflower rice. It is genuinely delectable, and farro has 7-8 grams of fiber and 7-8 grams of protein in a half cup serving. It is a whole grain that some studies show has reduced the risk of stroke and diabetes. If you can make farro risotto and have a yummy meal at the same time, I will call that a win. So it is very good for you and something I am starting to incorporate into my diet more regularly.
So I will not try to tell you that farro risotto tastes the same or better than risotto. The texture of the farro is a bit toothsome and chewy, unlike the traditional arborio rice, which I think is a plus. But the farro also doesn’t get as creamy as a standard risotto would. If you approach this dish knowing that, I do not think you will be disappointed.
- 32 ounces vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1½ cups farro
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups grated parmesan cheese
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 7 ounces arugula
- Pour the vegetable broth into a sauce pan and warm it over low heat.
- In a large dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the farro and toast for 1 minute before adding the wine.
- Stir the mixture constantly and allow the wine to evaporate. When most of the liquid has been absorbed into the farro, add the vegetable ½ to 1 cup at a time. Keep stirring frequently and adding broth as it absorbs.
- When you add the last of the broth to the farro, mix in the parmesan, lemon zest and juice, and arugula. It will look like there is too much arugula, but it will wilt down quickly. Stir everything together until it thickens.
- Serve with a big green salad and the rest of the wine to make a delicious dinner.