On a cold winter evening, I made my way to Eataly in NYC. Unfortunately the pasta/pizza section was full and the only section that could sit us immediately was the vegetarian section. My heart sank. I needed comfort food, how was I going to find that in the vegetarian section? How wrong I was. The waitress recommended the farrotto, a risotto made with farro. I had never had farro before, but one bite and I was hooked. This was the perfect comfort food, without the carbohydrates overload. I learned that farro used to sustain the Roman legions back in the day.
I came home and knew I just had to recreate that dish. After a lot of trials and errors, I came out with this. It is now a regular on our table!
Farrotto with Broccoli and Leek Puree topped with Grano Padano
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10+20 min
2 cups of farro
1/2 cup of white wine
1 tbsp. of butter
2 tbsp. of olive oil
1 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. of pepper
1/2 cup of grano padano (Parmesan will work too)
1 quart of chicken broth
For the puree:
2 tbsp. of butter
1 clove of garlic
2 broccoli heads, chopped
1 tsp. of grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper
In a medium pot heat up the chicken stock. Keep it warm on the side.
In a large pan, melt the butter on low heat. Add the shallots, garlic and leeks and cook until it starts to brown. Add the broccoli, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Sauté everything for 5 minutes then add about 1/2 cup of chicken broth on the broccoli to steam it. If you can, cover the pan for a few minutes and check up on the broccoli from time to time.
Once cooked, transfer everything to a food processor and puree. Set aside.
In a large pot, mix the butter and olive oil on low heat. Add the salt and pepper. Add the farro and start mixing with a wooden spoon for a minute, to coat the farro evenly. Increase the temperature to medium heat. Add the white wine and keep mixing. The farro will absorb the liquid quickly.
Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the farro, stirring constantly, until the liquid is almost completely absorbed. Repeat until your farro is chewy and no longer crunchy, about 20 minutes.
Once the farro is ready, add the broccoli leek puree and grano padano. Serve and top with more grano padano.
Will keep in the fridge for a day before it gets too hard.