Mushroom, Lemon and Rosemary No-Stir Farro Risotto
Why No-Stir Farro Risotto?Farro risotto is a healthy and delicious riff on traditional risotto. Farro is an ancient grain that is loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and an excellent nutritional upgrade from white rice-based traditional risotto. Farro is a whole grain that provides many health benefits. Farro's high fiber content makes it protective against type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Farro's high fiber content is also beneficial to gut health and doesn't spike blood sugar like white rice and other refined grains do. Farro is a good source of vegetarian protein and can assist in a weight-loss diet because its protein content keeps you full longer.
No-Stir Farro Risotto is DeliciousBeyond its health benefits, farro risotto is delicious. Farro has a chewy texture and nut-like flavor that is very satisfying. I flavor this no-stir farro risotto with mushrooms, fresh lemon and rosemary, but you can add any flavoring you prefer, just like you do when you make traditional risotto. I cook the farro in either chicken or vegetable stock to infuse more flavor. The flavorings and farro are cooked separately and then combined together with some parmesan cheese, some of the stock used to cook the farro and maybe a little butter, if you like. No constant stirring required.
What is Farro?Farro is an ancient whole grain that has been consumed by humans for thousands of years. The term "farro" is actually used to describe three different, but similar wheat grains. In the U.S., farro typically refers to emmer wheat.
Whole Farro vs. Pearled Farro vs. Partially Pearled FarroWhole farro includes the farro bran and takes about twice as long to cook as pearled farro. You can reduce the cooking time of whole farro by soaking it overnight. Whole farro has the best nutrition profile. Pearled farro has the bran removed, which results in the loss of some nutrition, but it cooks faster. There is also also a semi-pearled faro that still has some of the bran intact, a good nutritional profile and cooks faster than whole faro. Most farro sold in the U.S. is pearled or semi-pearled farro. Bob's Red Mill makes a good semi-pearled farro and is the brand I use in this recipe.
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The Benefits of No-Stir Farro RisottoTo recap, this is a winning recipe for many reasons: No-Stir Farro Risotto is:
- Nutritionally better for you than white rice risotto
- Utterly delicious
- Filling and satisfying and is a good carbohydrate option if you are trying to lose weight (just go easy on the butter and cheese)
- Made in two steps which you can stretch out over the course of a couple days. Make the farro in advance then cook your flavorings later when you are ready to serve
- Largely a hands-off recipe because it does not require constant stirring like traditional risotto
Mushroom, Lemon and Rosemary Farro Risotto
No-stir farro risotto, with its nutty flavor and chewy texture is a healthy and delicious alternative to traditional white rice risotto. The addition of fresh rosemary and lemon brighten this satisfying dish.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: 2 - 4 Servings 1x
- Category: Dinner, Lunch
- Cuisine: New American, Mediterranean
- 1 cup semi-pearled farro
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- Splash olive oil
- 3 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 – 2 T butter (optional)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, or more
- Put the farro in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for 30 minutes or more. Drain.
- Put the farro and chicken stock into a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-low and cook for about 20 minutes, until the farro is cooked al dente. Drain the farro, reserving the cooking liquid and set aside. At this point, you can refrigerate your cooked farro and cooking broth to finish the dish later in the day or even the next day, or continue on with the recipe.
- While farro is cooking, heat a heavy bottomed pan and add a splash of olive oil. When oil is hot, add onions and garlic and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until soft. Add some more olive oil, or butter if you prefer. Add mushrooms and rosemary and cook another 5 minutes.
- Add drained farro and stir to combine. Add some of the reserved stock, a half cup at a time, until you get a nice creamy texture. Farro risotto should not be dry, but not soupy either. You will likely add between 1 and 2 cups of the cooking liquid.
- Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest, butter and parmesan cheese. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. Serve hot.
- This will serve 2 – 4, depending on portion size. I typically double this recipe even when cooking for just my husband and me because this risotto is also delicious the next day. Doubling the recipe allows you to get two meals for the effort of one.
- There is no need to slowly stir in liquid to farro risotto. Why? Because you are not releasing the starch like you do in a rice risotto. Add enough of the soaking liquid until you like the texture, quickly stirring just to combine the ingredients.
- This recipe calls for semi-pearled farro, which means its outer bran has been slit but not removed. You can substitute whole farro, but you will need to presoak the farro longer and cook the farro an extra 20 minutes or so.