Portobello Mushroom Farro Risotto. So let's address the big elephant in the room first...
What the heck is Farro?
Farro is an ancient grain that dates back to the Roman empire. Isn't it amazing to think that for thousands of years, generation after generation has been nourishing their bodies with this whole grain? Why did I not take an anthropology of food course in college!? I just find that absolutely fascinating. But back to farro.
Farro is a hearty, nutty-tasting grain, high in fiber that is making a comeback in the "foodie world". It has a chewy texture and mild taste which allows it to infuse with your favorite flavors. It also contains lower levels of gluten compared to the mass-produced wheat of today. That means if you are sensitive to gluten, you might be able to tolerate farro. Remember I said might. Depending on how sensitive you are, try at your own risk! 😉
MMMM..... Farro Rissoto! Doesn't this look delicious! I made this as a whole-grain side dish but Farro Risotto would definitely make a great vegetarian entree (just replace the chicken stock for veggie stock) for those of you who are vegetarians or just a good Meatless Monday entree for those who enjoy less meat.
1.5 cups farro
4 Tb butter
1/3 cup dry Rose wine
1/2 onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic
1 lb baby portobello mushrooms sliced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated
- In dutch oven, over medium heat, melt 3 Tbs. of butter.
- Add onion and cook until translucent and the scents that fill the air begin to turn sweet.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the fresh mushrooms and thyme.
- Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are tender and a little browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add 1 Tb of butter and the farro.
- Stir until well coated with the butter, about 2 minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium-high, pour in the wine and stir until the liquid has been absorbed. Reduce the heat to medium and add a ladleful or two of the chicken broth.
- Cook, stirring from time to time (you don’t have to stir it constantly), until the broth has been absorbed.
- Continue to cook, adding broth as needed, until the farro is tender. It may take up to 45 minutes.
- Once it is finished, stir in 1/2 cup of fresh pecorino romano.
I served my Farro Rissoto up with these massive pork chops. The chops were so big our whole family shared 2!
Farro is an excellent source of protein, fiber and nutrients like magnesium and iron. I pulled the nutrition fact panel for Bob's Red Mill Farro (same variety I purchased) and for a small 1/4 cup serving, you will get 7 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein! Also farro is 100% whole grain. Whole grains have a number of health benefits such as reducing the risk for Type-2 diabetes1 and high blood pressure2, and supporting a healthy weight.3
Mushrooms boost the protein in this dish a bit and are rich sources of copper and selenium. Copper helps the body metabolize iron and produce energy. Selenium supports thyroid regulation. Plus they taste delicious!
Vegetarian friends- Just replace the chicken stock with veggie stock and you are good to go!
Vegan friends- Replace the chicken stock with veggie stock and omit the pecorino romano at the end. You could also always try sprinkling nutritional yeast over the top. If you do, let me know how it works out!
Allergies- Allergic to Mushrooms or just not a big fan? You could leave them out all together. Or at the very end of cooking you can add in some kale and let it wilt down. I bet that would be yummy!
Want to cook just plain ol' farro? I throw it in my rice cooker on "brown rice" with the recommended amount of water and it is perfectly cooked in about an hour. Need a super inexpensive but reliable rice cooker? Try this one. That't the one I have and it's great!
Portobello Mushroom Farro Risotto
November 16, 2016
1In dutch oven, over medium heat, melt 3 Tbs. of butter.
2Add onion and cook until translucent and the scents that fill the air begin to turn sweet.
3Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
4Add the fresh mushrooms and thyme.
5Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are tender and a little browned, about 10 minutes.
6Add 1 Tb of butter and the farro.
7Stir until well coated with the butter, about 2 minutes.
8Increase the heat to medium-high, pour in the wine and stir until the liquid has been absorbed. Reduce the heat to medium and add a ladleful or two of the chicken broth.
9Cook, stirring from time to time (you don’t have to stir it constantly), until the broth has been absorbed.
10Continue to cook, adding broth as needed, until the farro is tender. It may take up to 45 minutes.
11Once it is finished, grate 1/2 cup of fresh pecorino romano on top!