If you like foods with a crunch, you are going to love this creamy, no-guilt farro risotto! The crunchy, nutty flavor of the farro is enhanced by the crunchy goodness of the pistachios. This risotto is creamy and moist, but without the calories and refined carbs from traditional risotto that is typically made with arborio rice or orzo. This lighter version of the traditional risotto also makes it a perfect candidate for alfresco dining on balmy summer evenings, but can be also served warm in the cooler months. All the flavor, but none of the guilt-just dig in and enjoy!
- 2 tbsp light yellow olive oil
- 1 cup farro, uncooked
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1.5-2 tablespoons freshly chopped garlic
- 1, 8 oz box of mushrooms, any type
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 dry white wine
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- 2 tbsp pistachios, chopped
- 4 tbsp scallions, chopped
- 3.5-4 cups vegetable broth
- Soak farro in warm water for a couple of hours. Set aside.
- In a thick bottomed pan, saute the finely chopped garlic until a light golden brown.
- Add the chopped onion and saute until soft and translucent.
- Bring the vegetable broth to a rolling boil.
- Add mushrooms stirring until blended into the onion-garlic mixture. Mushrooms might release some liquid at this time, saute until most liquid has evaporated.
- Now stir in the peas
- Add the white wine, stirring until all the wine evaporates
- Drain the farro and stir gently into the pan on low heat along with the salt and pepper.
- Stir the boiling hot vegetable broth into the pan.
- Bring the contents of the pan to a rolling boil, stirring for a few minutes.
- Turn down the heat, close the lid tightly and allow to simmer gently on low heat until the farro is cooked through, most of the broth is absorbed but the mixture remains somewhat moist, approximately 30 minutes.
- Stir once or twice to ensure that the contents do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Serve warm or cold, garnished with the scallions, pistachios and feta cheese.
Registered Dietitian’s tip:
I often cook farro and other whole grains such as bulgur ahead of time as they can be quickly added to salads and soups or stews to create a satisfying meal. Whole grains are intact grains, which means they must retain the same proportion of bran, endosperm and germ as the original grain to be considered a whole grain. All whole grains have an outer layer called bran that contains insoluble fiber, vitamin E and phytonutrients. Studies show that as our intake of whole grains increases, the incidence of conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases tends to go down.
While the fiber and nutrient content might vary from brand to brand, a 1/4 cup uncooked, dry farro has roughly 7 grams of fiber and 37 grams of carbohydrate. It should be noted that since farro is a form of wheat, it is not gluten-free.