Makes 4 servings.
Traditional Risotto is made with Carnaroli rice, and it is quite time sensitive to prepare. If there is too little cooking time, the rice kernels will not release their starch and are too hard. If cooked too long, too much starch is released, making the rice too soft. Unlike Carnaroli, the farro grain is more chewy and does not have any starch to release. It is also not as time sensitive to prepare. I like to top the farro with steamed, sautéed vegetables such as mushrooms, asparagus, haricot vert, among many others.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped or 4 scallions, including green parts, sliced into thin rounds
11/3 cups pearled farro
¾ cup dry white wine
2 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup grated imported Parmesan cheese, approx (See Note)
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
In a medium enameled–lined saucepan (I prefer Creuset), melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add the onion or scallions and sauté over low heat, until soft.
Add the farro and keep stirring with wooden spoon until farro is well coated with the butter. Add the wine, raise the heat and stir until all the liquid is absorbed. You can do this ahead of time.
In a separate small saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Add it to the farro. Lower the heat, and cook covered for 25 minutes, stirring from time to time.
The farro should be chewy and the liquid absorbed (if the farro is soft and the liquid is not absorbed, uncover it for a minute).
Add the remaining butter, parmesan cheese and parsley. Season to taste with parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
Serve with steamed or sautéed vegetables on top.
My favorite Parmesan cheeses comes from the Reggiano region in Italy. It was available in the US as a kosher cheese until about a year ago. It is supposed to be available again in October 2016.
Ideally I like to buy mine in Israel, where it is readily available. I grate it in the food processor and keep it in the freezer. Be sure to cut the cheeses into small pieces first. If I cannot go to Israel, I beg friends or family to purchase chunks for me.