Farro Risotto is a great example of a slow food. You can create a satisfying local meal while taking time to enjoy your life. Once you have it started, you can pour a glass of wine, savor the company of family and friends while giving it an occasional stir. Both the process and the product can be very rewarding.
I used Alice Waters’ Risotto Bianco from her book, The Art of Simple Food . This is a good basic recipe but feel free to use variations depending on what is fresh and seasonal. I picked up some delicious mushrooms from Foraged and Found Edibles at the University Farmers Market. This is the type of recipe you may never make the same way twice. Creativity is encouraged.
2 T butter
1 small onion, diced fine
5 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
1/3 cup grated hard cheese like Parmesan (mine came from Estrella Family Creamery)
A handful of chopped Parsley
Start by melting the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the onions and cook until soft.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan, bring the broth to a boil and then turn it off.
Add the farro to the onions and cook until the grains are somewhat translucent, stirring from time to time. This takes about 4-5 minutes.
If you are going to use wine, add it now. Stir fairly often until all of the wine is absorbed.
Add 1 cup of the warm broth and continue simmering and stirring occasionally while the liquid absorbs and cooks the farro. Add the rest of the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, letting the liquid absorb after each addition. After about 30-40 minutes, start tasting the farro. It will be much chewier than rice. I prefer mine well-done so I keep cooking it until all the liquid is used up, about 45min to 1 hr. If you are running out of broth towards the end, you can thin it down with hot water.
If you are adding other vegetables, give them a little extra time to cook in the risotto than they normally need. Firmer veggies can be cooked with the onion at the beginning. I sauteed the mushrooms in a separate pan and added them at the end.
When it is all done to creamy perfection, stir in the cheese, mushrooms, a dollop of butter and chopped parsley. By the time you sit down, it will be ready to be devoured.