Farrotto with Golden Beets, Mixed Herbs and Crispy Shallots
Similar to risotto, but made with the whole grain farro.Katie Workman
Serving Size: Serves 4
If you are a fan of risotto, then you are going to love this.
What is Farrotto?
Farrotto is essentially risotto, but instead of being made with short grain rice (like arborio) it’s made with farro. Using farro instead of short grain rice means that this creamy whole grain vegetarian dish packs even more fiber and protein than regular risotto.
What is Farro?
Farro is an ancient whole grain that can be used in everything from soups to casseroles to warm sides to room temperature salads like this one. It’s a hearty wheat grain, with a chewy texture, and it’s a good source of iron, fiber and protein. Its nutritional value makes it an excellent grain to incorporate into all kinds of dishes, particularly for vegetarians. You can play around with it in recipes that might call for barley, wheat berries, or brown rice.
One of the best sources for whole grain products in the world, and one of the largest is Bob’s Red Mill. They make flours, cereals, seeds, baking mixes, grains and more, and if you’ve ever bought even one whole grain I’m guessing there’s a good chance you bought one from Bob’s Red Mill – they are available everywhere, and they are beloved. Their farro is a pantry staple for me. It’s organic, and it cooks up nutty and chewy and I use it all the time.
Is Farro Good For You?
In a word, yes. Farro is easy to digest, allowing your body to readily absorb the nutrients. In addition to being a good source of iron, each serving includes 7 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber.
Click here for more about farro and how to cook it outside of a farrotto setting.
How to Make Farrotto
Glowing yellow or golden beets and bright green herbs give this farrotto, or farro risotto, vibrant flavor and color. You don’t need to stir constantly; just frequently. If you decide to use red beets instead of yellow or golden beets, you can—just know that the whole thing will be tinged a seriously pink color.
You start by stirring the farro in a bit of oil or butter (use oil to keep the farrotto vegan) with some onions, and then you slowly add liquid, same as you do when making risotto. Start with a nice glug of wine.
Then move on to broth, vegetable broth if you want this to be a vegetarian farrotto.
Stir frequently and keep an eye on the liquid level, so that it incorporates almost completely before adding the next scoop of broth. Keep adding the broth gradually you have a mixture that is thick and creamy and soul-satisfying.
Add the cooked beets.
And some parmesan (skip if you want to make this a vegan farrotto).
Some fresh herbs.
Ladle it up into bowls.
Top with some crispy shallots (delicious, stylish, but not at all hard to make), and some chives if you have them around.
A bowl of farrotto is comforting and nourishing and believe you me you won’t be hungry for a while. It’s the kind of meal that make you sit back at the end and make a noise like, “ahhh….” If you are looking for a vegan version of this farrotto, use oil instead of butter and skip the Parmesan and cream.
If you are serving this as a side dish it will serve 6, but if you are serving it as a main course, plan for 4 servings.
More Farro Recipes!
- How to Cook Perfect Farro on the Stove
- Farro with Grilled Broccoli and Sweet Onions
- Farro and Vegetable Salad
Farro and Tomato Salad
- Farro and Arugula Salad with Orange Herb Vinaigrette
- Summer Whole Grain and Vegetable Salad
- 6 small golden beets about 2-inches in diameter, trimmed and scrubbed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- ¾ cup chopped red or yellow onions
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1 ½ cups farro
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped tarragon
- 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Crispy Shallots
- Snipped fresh chives
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Lay a large piece of foil on a rimmed baking sheet, leaving half the foil hanging off one end. Place the beets on top of the foil on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the beets with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold the foil in half to make a packet and crimp the edges.
- Bake until the beets are tender, about 40 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of the beets). You can check by piercing a fork through the foil, and see when they are tender. Let them cool in the foil packets.
- When the beets are cool enough to touch, remove them from the packet and peel off the skins. Dice the beets into 1/2-inch cubes and set aside.
- Heat the vegetable broth in a medium sized saucepan just until hot. Meanwhile, in a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven heat 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until soft and lightly golden. Add the farro to the pot with the onions, and cook, stirring until all of the grains are nicely coated with the butter. Turn up the heat to medium-high, add the wine, bring it to a simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, until the wine is almost all absorbed. Add the stock one cup at a time, stirring every couple of minutes, and letting each cup of stock absorb almost completely before adding more. Adjust the heat as needed so that the liquid stays barely simmering. Taste towards the end to see when the grains are becoming cooked and tender (the farro should take about 30 to 35 minutes in all to cook, depending on how al dente or tender you like it to be), and season with salt and pepper as needed. You will likely not need to use all of the broth.
- Just before the grains finish cooking, stir in the beets. When the grains and tender and the liquid is mostly absorbed stir in the cheese, remaining tablespoon of butter, the herbs, and the cream, if desired, and serve immediately, garnished with the Crispy Shallots.