farroto

Photo by Elizabeth Griffin

If you love risotto but not all the calories it brings, swipe out traditional risotto rice for a healthier grain. Farroto uses farro and turns it into a dish that resembles risotto with less calories and a healthier starch base. If you need a flavorful side dish, this recipe is one to keep in your back pocket.


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1 1/2 quarts vegetable broth
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 yellow onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 1/2 cups farro
1 cup white wine
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
1 tbsp mascarpone
1 bunch asparagus (cut into 1-inch pieces)
1 cup peas
1/2 cup pecorino (grated)
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup basil (chopped)
1/4 cup mint (chopped)
1/4 cup parsley (chopped)

Heat the vegetable broth in a small sauce pan over medium heat.

Heat a large saute pan or dutch oven over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter melts stir in the onion and the garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until translucent. Stir in the farro and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes to toast. Deglaze with the wine and reduce by half.

Add the vegetable broth, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Continue to add the broth until the farro is tender, about 10 minutes, saving about 1 cup of the broth for the end. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the mascarpone. Add in asparagus and peas, and continue to stir. Add more broth if it starts to get too thick. Stir in the pecorino and zest. When the asparagus is tender, stir in the fresh herbs and serve.

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