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Farro Risotto with Cauliflower

June 26, 2013

I ended up with a lot of leftover cauliflower after making the olive salad for the muffuletta sandwich a few weeks ago, so I went searching for recipes that would use up a good portion of the rest of it. I came across this one in Gourmet Today, and since I really like the nutty taste and chewy texture of farro, I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did!

The flavor and texture combinations of this dish were wonderful. Even though this isn’t a “true” risotto made with arborio rice, the method of frequent stirring while adding small amounts of simmering stock gave the farro a creaminess that it would otherwise not have. The soft pieces of cauliflower were mild and provided texture variety, and of course risotto probably wouldn’t be risotto without butter and grated cheese added in at the end. :)

Although the original recipe calls for chicken stock, you could easily make this vegetarian by replacing it with a flavorful vegetable stock. Enjoy!

Farro "risotto" wth cauliflower

Serves 6 to 8 as a first course or 4 as a main course

Ingredients

  • 5½  cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1  bay leaf
  • 1  strip (3-by-1 inch) lemon zest
  • 2  teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2  stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/2  cup finely chopped onion
  • 1½  cups farro
  • 1/2  cup dry white wine
  • 2  cups finely chopped cauliflower
  • 1/2  cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1  tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Combine stock, bay leaf, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a 3-quart saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and keep at a bare simmer.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add farro and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wine, bring to a simmer, and simmer, stirring, until wine is absorbed.
  3. Add 1 cup simmering stock and cauliflower and cook, stirring and keeping stock at a strong simmer, until it is absorbed. Continue cooking and adding stock about 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until farro is tender and creamy-looking but still slightly al dente and cauliflower is tender, about 25 minutes (there will be stock left over).
  4. Stir in cheese, parsley, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, salt, and pepper. If desired, thin with some of remaining stock (discard bay leaf and zest). Serve immediately.

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