If buckwheat was my darling of ancient grains this month of January, I can see February filled with farro. Whoa! You just witnessed the birth of a hashtag, my friends. #farrofebruary, anyone?
This one-dish meal is comforting, warming, nourishing. The softened leek and farro grains create a creaminess that would knock the socks off the most ardent dairy lover. Despite it’s meatless…ness (??), this farro risotto does not lack in heft (though I do occasionally mix in bacon the last few minutes of cooking). In fact, farro provides 14 gm of protein in every 1 cooked cup (a much more satisfying portion than the suggested 1/2 cup), and that protein means staying power.
Other great features of this dish is that it scales up well (for larger gatherings) and it freezes beautifully (should you make it for just yourself).
LEEK & FARRO RISOTTO
2 T rapeseed oil
2 leeks, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 3/4 c farro
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4″ cubs
1 T Dijon mustard
4 c chicken or vegetable stock
1 head Savoy cabbage or British greens, sliced into short shreds
Heat rapeseed oil over medium high heat. Throw in leeks, cooking for a couple minutes before adding garlic. After about a minute, after both are softened, releasing their aromas, and the garlic has turned a light gold color, add farro, carrots, mustard, and hot stock. Simmer for 20 min. Stir in cabbage and cook for about 5 more minutes. Once farro is softened, you are good to go.
//If you have celiac…//
This recipe is not gluten free as is. I would suggest you use a short grain brown rice to give you a gluten free whole grain. If you have a gluten intolerance rather than an allergy, you may consider trying farro. It does contain gluten, but there are studies such as this one which suggest it may be less allergenic.
//If you have diabetes…//
Farro, though delicious and packed with nutrients, is also a rich source of carbohydrates. Alone, 1 cup of the grain has about 75 grams of it. Please try a dish like this in small quantities- testing blood sugars prior to and again 2 hours after consuming- before you have a bowl of it. You will likely find it does not affect you as acutely as a bowl of cornflakes or plate of pasta, but it is important to test and see. If you see a rise of more than 50 points, either have a small portion or try again with an added protein/fat source.