Spring Pea and Mushroom Farro Risotto

Farro is a type of wheat with high levels of protein and fiber, the perfect grain for risotto. To make this dish vegan-friendly, we swapped in quinoa instead.

The “chicken spring pea and farro risotto with lemon” is a dish that has been made by many chefs. The dish is made from a combination of chicken, spring peas, mushrooms, and farro.

I had the pleasure of conducting a culinary demonstration for Hour Detroit, a Michigan leisure magazine, a few weeks ago. The task was to prepare a dish for Hour lovers at a local kitchen design business.

So I put on my thinking gear and started recipe testing for my first on-air culinary segment (see video below!). It had to be light yet filling, approachable but intriguing, and oh-so-delicious. This Spring Pea and Mushroom Farro Risotto was the winner.

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Risotto was the first grownup food I learnt to prepare. It’s also one of the meals my mother used to cook for us when we were kids. She leaned towards basic yet tasty recipes like risotto as a single mother. Contrary to common belief, risotto is not a difficult-to-follow meal. It’s really fairly easy to make and only requires a few ingredients.

Risotto is one of my favorite dishes because of its robust richness. However, unlike fettuccine alfredo, risotto isn’t prepared with a lot of cream; instead, it’s cooked gently to release natural starches that thicken the dish and give it a creamy texture.

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For spring, I wanted to make a risotto that stayed true to my heritage while still being nutritious. As a result, I went with farro, one of my favorite grains. Farro is an old grain, meaning it has been around for a long time. It’s a hardy wheat that was utilized by both the Romans and the Egyptians (I studied everything about farro in an ancient grains class in college, lol!). It’s a complex carbohydrate, which means it digests slowly in the stomach and has more protein per gram than rice or quinoa. It’s also high in fiber, magnesium, and B3.

Because farro has a soft yet crunchy texture, it holds up nicely in a mushier dish like risotto. It releases less starches than typical arborio rice, but it retains the creaminess and taste, so it’s a win-win in my opinion.

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I also threw in some fresh spring peas, which are currently in season! Fresh peas are one of my favorite vegetables. Using fresh, uncooked peas adds a lovely bite to this meal and pairs well with the earthier mushrooms.

So! The recipe, as well as the video, may be seen below. I’m excited to hear what you all have to say!

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Ingredients

  • 8 cups sliced porcini or portobello mushrooms
  • 1 coarsely sliced big white onion
  • 2 1/2 cups washed and drained farro
  • 2 quarts stock (chicken)
  • 1 quart of white wine (any crisp white will do, like a pinot or a chardonnay)
  • 1 1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
  • 2 tblsp butter (salted)
  • 1 cup peas, fresh (not frozen) (I purchased mine at Trader Joe’s and they’re delicious!)
  • lemon zest (1/2 lemon)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garnish with micro greens (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a cast-iron pan over medium heat, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the mushrooms, season with salt, and sauté for 5 minutes, or until medium brown and glossy.
  2. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and place them on a cutting board to cool slightly before slicing them into small pieces (keep it a really rough chop- you can leave some whole).
  3. Drizzle another tablespoon of olive oil into the same cast-iron pan, then add the onions and sauté over medium heat until transparent (about 5 minutes).
  4. Pour the chicken stock into a small saucepan and simmer over low heat while the onions cook. Keeping the chicken stock heated will keep the risotto from cooling down when you add it later.
  5. Cook for one minute after adding the farro to the onions. Reduce the heat to a low setting.
  6. Stir in the white wine and 1/2 cup of hot chicken stock. Stir in another 1/2 cup of chicken stock after the liquid has completely absorbed. Continue with the remaining chicken stock, stirring constantly (process should take 45-50 minutes).
  7. Stir in the parmesan cheese, butter, fresh peas, lemon zest, and sautéed mushrooms last. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I used around a teaspoon and a quarter teaspoon). Serve with parmesan and microgreens on top.

 

Watch This Video-

The “Moroccan seafood couscous” is a dish that has a lot of flavor. It’s made with vegetables, rice, and spices. The flavors are very rich. Reference: moroccan seafood couscous.

Related Tags

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