A properly executed risotto can be a real treat for the senses: Tender-but-toothsome, al dente grains laden with an aromatic, creamy sauce that comes from the natural starches released by rice. Traditional risotto requires carnaroli or arborio rice, but there are plenty of other grains you can use. Farro is the perfect example. It’s easy to cook, but doesn’t turn mushy as easily as traditional rice varieties. Here we pair whole, unhulled farro with our earthy Walnut Pesto. Cracking about half the farro in a blender is key to releasing enough starch from the grains to create a creamy, risotto-like texture. To keep the grains separate, we add liquid in stages. Stirring in the pesto at the very end of cooking ensures maximum freshness and maintains a vibrant green color in the dish.
Farro Risotto with Walnut Pesto
- 1 cup whole farro
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 recipe Walnut Pesto
- ⅓ cup basil leaves, torn into ½-inch pieces
- Pulse farro in blender until about half of grains are broken into smaller pieces, about 6 pulses.
- Bring broth and water to boil in large saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to low and cover.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in farro, increase the heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. Stir in the wine and continue to cook, stirring often, until the wine has been completely absorbed, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in 2 cups broth mixture and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and the bottom of the pan is dry, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in 2 more cups of the warm broth and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and the bottom of the pan is dry, 15 to 20 minutes longer.
- Continue to cook risotto, stirring often and adding 1/2 cup remaining broth at a time as needed to keep pan bottom from becoming dry (about every 4 minutes), until grains are cooked through but still have bite, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Off heat, stir in 1/2 cup pesto. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with remaining 1/2 cup pesto and basil.
Nutrition facts:1 serving 325 calories 4 grams of protein 4 grams of carbohydrates 1 grams of fiber 195 milligrams of sodium 167 milligrams of potassium 35 grams of fat ( 5 grams of saturated fat 21 grams of monounsaturated fat 7 grams of polyunsaturated fat ) 5 milligrams of cholesterol
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