Farro Risotto

By • January 25, 2011 • 28 Comments



Author Notes: Some of you may remember my admission that I'm obsessed with farro -- but the truth is, I hadn’t had much experience cooking it until just a few years ago. I was catering a large dinner party as part of a charity event, and I needed an unusual starch that would hold well to go with the Cornish game hen I was making for the main course. Enter, farro risotto.

What’s great about this is that you don’t have to give up 30 minutes of your day standing over the stove, stirring like a mad person. (Although, some might argue that regular risotto doesn’t require that either.) You cook the grain ahead of time in stock, and then simply fold it into some softened onion that’s been hit with a splash or two of wine, add some Parmesan, and there’s your “risotto.” Best of all, it will hold and reheat the way a true risotto never will.
Merrill Stubbs

Serves 4 as a side dish

  • 1 cup farro
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Soak the farro in cold water to cover for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and combine with the chicken stock in a medium, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce the heat so the farro is bubbling gently; cook until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the farro over a bowl so that you can reserve what's left of the cooking liquid, and set both aside in a warm place.
  2. Rinse the saucepan and add the butter and olive oil, setting it over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the onion and a generously pinch of salt, and cook gently until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine, turn up the heat a little, and simmer until the wine is reduced by about two-thirds, another 5 minutes or so. Add the farro and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Fold in the Parmesan, adding enough of the reserved chicken stock to get a slightly creamy consistency. Fold in more Parmesan and/or salt if necessary, and several grinds of black pepper. Serve immediately, or cover and reheat gently before serving, adding more liquid as necessary.
Jump to Comments (28)

Tags: farro, Risotto

Comments (28) Questions (1)

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almost 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

We love, love, love this risotto! I've made it several times, and am certain I'll be making it many more, in the future. Last night I was serving a roast chicken, but I'd put a handful of bacon carnitas in the pan to roast with it, along with some marinated artichoke hearts and fresh herbs, onions, etc., and decided at the last minute that the cheese would be just too much. So I took a right turn, and instead, stirred in finely chopped just-picked marjoram and Italian parsley (a heaping teaspoon of each). It turned out perfectly. Your method leaves the farro with just the right amount of "bite." As I said, we love it! ;o)

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almost 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

We love, love, love this risotto! I've made it several times, and am certain I'll be making it many more, in the future. Last night I was serving a roast chicken, but I'd put a handful of bacon carnitas in the pan to roast with it, along with some marinated artichoke hearts and fresh herbs, onions, etc., and decided at the last minute that the cheese would be just too much. So I took a right turn, and instead, stirred in finely chopped just-picked marjoram and Italian parsley (a heaping teaspoon of each). It turned out perfectly. Your method leaves the farro with just the right amount of "bite." As I said, we love it! ;o)

Merrill

almost 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks so much, AntoniaJames. SGlad you're enjoying this as a jumping off point for your own creations!

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about 2 years ago patricellen

Julieah had a good question about farro that I don't think got answered... there are 3 kinds of farro.. pearled, semi-pearled and traditional. They each require different soaking times (or no soaking). Which kind did you use for this recipe?

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about 2 years ago SpaCook

It's been my experience that recipes tend to call for pearled unless otherwise indicated. That said, these are the instructions associated with pearled, so that's probably the safest bet here!

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about 2 years ago SpaCook

It's been my experience that recipes tend to call for pearled unless otherwise indicated. That said, these are the instructions associated with pearled, so that's probably the safest bet here!

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over 2 years ago NellyBell

Made this tonight and it was so, so good. I'll definitely be making it again.

Merrill

over 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad you liked it!

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over 2 years ago Demington

I love farro, too. I am going to try this recipe. I do think the title is a misnomer. It doesn't cook like risotto so why pretend? Farro with chicken stock and Parmesan sounds delicious to me.

Merrill

over 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

It may not cook like risotto, but the finished product definitely resembles it!

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over 2 years ago DeArmasA

YUM! I had no white wine, so a changed the chicken stock to beef stock, and used red wine, and it was delicious!

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over 2 years ago ktchnninja

yum! made this w/ pearl barley instead of farro... it was the perfect side for your short ribs w/ beer & honey!

Merrill

over 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Great idea! I'll have to try that.

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over 2 years ago MariaM

I love this recipe and use it all the time. I'm going to use this to make arancini (stuffed rice balls). Here's hoping it's a hit! Thanks Food 52 for this wonderful resource of fabulous recipes. Best discovery I made in 2011.

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almost 3 years ago DebJ

I had farro for the first time last night at Urban Solace restaurant in San Diego. It was delicious. Their's was a similar recipe with vegetables - here's how they list it on their menu: "Farro Saute: Creamy Farro, Veggies, Smoked Tomatoes, Grated Parm." I had some chicken added to it. Great flavor, nuttiness, chewiness - true comfort food. I'm glad I looked here for a recipe. Thanks!

Merrill

almost 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You're very welcome. And welcome to the wonderful world of farro!

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over 3 years ago HandRocksLadle

Made this last night and I agree with everyone else -- delicious! {And a healthier option than risotto}

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Made this tonight for dinner, but threw the meat from a baked carnival squash in. That made it look more like porridge than risotto, but love the taste. Thanks, M!

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over 3 years ago thirschfeld

making this again because it is just so damn good.

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over 3 years ago wssmom

My sentiments EXACTLY thirschfield ... the farro is soaking even as I type ....

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over 3 years ago julieah

our package--called "Italian Pearled Farro" made by Montebello--says to soak in cold water for 8 hours...is this really necessary?

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over 3 years ago thirschfeld

I have been making lots of farro and finally ordered some of the piccolo farro from Anson Mills. I have never seen farro like this. It looked more like Lundberg farms short grain brown rice. It was very tiny in comparison to other farrro. I made this recipe and it was so ridiculously good, seriously, ridiculously good.

Merrill

over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad you liked it, and will have to check out the piccolo farro.

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over 3 years ago lindachoi

This was terrific. I made it last week - right to the recipe. This week I roasted a cauliflower and added that right after the farro. Yum.

Merrill

over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Great idea! Will have to try that.

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

I topped mine with roasted brussels sprouts! Yum!

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over 3 years ago dymnyno

I too, have become obsessed with farro and cook it at least once a week. Sound like my kind of recipe.

Merrill

over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks!