Monday, May 9, 2011
Farrotto. Purely simply fabulous.
Happy Meatless Monday y'all! I have to admit, I haven't posted a Meatless Monday recipe before because we eat a LOT of meatless meals and not just on Mondays (I like to see how many in a row I can get away with before Kris complains.)
Farrotto is simply farro (whole grains of wheat) cooked risotto style. What I love about it is it's healthier than traditional risotto yet heartier at the same time. You can eat it as a meal without the guilt of ducking into a bowl of creamy rice (or at least I believe you can.) And as an extra bonus, you don't need to heat the chicken stock before adding it throughout the cooking process. You can pour it straight from your measuring cup or from the box, as I do;)
Feel free to sub roasted butternut squash for the acorn squash. I'm telling you - there's something bizarrely amazing about the natural sweetness of roasted squash with the subtle roundness of maple syrup a with the salty kick of gorgonzola. I know it sounds weird if you've never tried it in a savory context but I promise you it's not.
PS animal lovers - you can make this completely vegetarian if you sub veggie stock for the chicken stock.
Farrotto with Lovely, Lovely Things
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup Farro
2 1/2-3 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 acorn squash, peeled, cut in half and seeds removed
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup thawed frozen corn
1/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup gorgonzola plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons maple syrup
fresh cracked pepper and salt to taste
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400.
In a medium/large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onions and saute for 4 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and saute 2 more minutes until onions are completely translucent. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, then bring the heat to high and add the white wine. Stir constantly as the wine evaporates and bubbles - 2 or so minutes. Once mostly evaporated, stir in the farro and reduce heat back to medium. Stir constantly for 2 minutes, then add in a half a cup of chicken stock, stirring in. Let softly simmer, stirring occasionally, until mostly evaporated (soaked up by the farro) before adding another half cup. Continue this process until the farro is to the risotto-style consistency you like (start checking the consistency after you've added a little over 2 cups.) If you happen to run out of stock and need more, you can add water. Like the mom says in Friday - 'It won't hurt.'
Meanwhile, cut the halved squash into quarters, then into eights. Turn the sections sideways and cut them crosswise into thin, 1/8 inch thick pieces. Grease an aluminum-lined large baking sheet with nonstick spray and add the squash pieces, evenly distributing them. Drizzle with olive oil just to coat, add in the cherry tomatoes and toss all to lightly coat with oil before patting back down to get them all spread out again. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 16 minutes. Turn over with a spatula and roast another 8 minutes or so until nice and caramelized, but not blackened. Remove and add into the farrotto (once it's to the consistency that you like.)
Gently stir in the corn, black beans, maple syrup, pinch salt and pepper, gorgonzola and basil. Taste for salt and pepper and make any adjustments necessary (I actually like a lot of pepper with this and I'm not a pepper person.) Serve in deep bowls, garnished with additional gorgonzola and basil.