Fall Farro Risotto
By Nancy Eisman
Although the use of Italian Arborio rice is traditional in the preparation of risotto, farro is a nicely chewy, nutritionally rich substitute. Some people think that cooking risotto is labor intensive, i.e. adding in stock a half cup at a time for 30 minutes or more. By using farro and a simpler preparation method, this whole-grain version of risotto is way easier but just as tasty.
Fall Farro Risotto will make a delectable and pretty plant-based main course or side-dish at your Thanksgiving table. Butternut squash, honey crisp apples or butterscotch pears, purple Brussels sprouts, golden beets, dried cranberries, and toasted hazelnuts bring seasonal flavors together in this dish full of beautiful colors and varied textures.
As always, feel free to swap out or in your personal favorite produce of the season to make the recipe your own. And whether Fall Farro Risotto shows up on your holiday table, or any other night, your taste buds will be very thankful.
Fall Farro Risotto
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons tamari
3/4 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup shallots, diced
1 cup butternut squash, diced
1 cup purple Brussels sprouts, diced
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 package farro
1 honey crisp apples or butterscotch™ pears, diced
1 package golden beets, diced
½ cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
Heat up the vegetable broth and tamari in a small saucepan and keep simmering.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan, and then add the shallots, butternut squash, and purple Brussels sprouts. Add a couple of pinches of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, then stir and cook over medium-high heat for five minutes.
Add the farro to the pan, stir to incorporate and cook about two minutes.
Add the apple cider and continue cooking three to four minutes until the cider is reduced.
Add the hot broth and bring everything to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Cover the pan and cook for 45 minutes, stirring at 15 minute intervals. At the 30 minute mark, add the apples, golden beets, dried cranberries, and cinnamon and stir to combine. Cover and continue cooking.
Give the mixture a final stir while adding another pinch or two of sea salt and black pepper. Keep the farro covered five to seven minutes prior to serving. Move the mixture to serving bowls and garnish with toasted chopped hazelnuts.