Mushroom, Asparagus, and Goat Cheese Risotto (Starring…Farro!)

Even though we are currently watching big, beautiful snowflakes dust the trees outside our windows, our taste buds are definitely ready for spring! I mean, really, how many soups and stews can one family take?!? After perfecting the art of quinoa risotto last spring, I decided to see if there were other whole grains that would work using the simple risotto method. After recently purchasing a four pound bag of organic farro at Costco, I decided to start by experimenting with that.  It worked great!

Farro, also known as spelt, is another one of the ancient grains that are quickly making a comeback. It has been served at least as far back as the Roman Empire, and is considered by many to be the most nutritious of all types of wheat. Farro is a good source of complex B vitamins, protein, and fiber. Besides being incredibly healthy, it also has a nutty, chewy texture that pairs beautifully with the meaty mushrooms, bright asparagus, and creamy goat cheese used in this risotto. Besides Costco, you can also find farro in the bulk bins at natural food stores. Try it! You will not be disappointed!

Ingredients (Serves four as a main dish):

Onion, 1 small
Garlic, 3 cloves
Baby bella/cremini mushrooms, 8 – 10 oz
Asparagus, 1 bunch, pencil thin
White wine, ¼ cup
Farro, 1¼ cups
Organic chicken broth, 3 – 3½ cups
Goat cheese, ¼ – ½ cup, I used a 4-oz log
Extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp
Butter, 1 tbsp
Dried thyme, ½ tsp (or 2 sprigs fresh)
Sea salt, ½ tsp
Fresh ground black pepper, ½ tsp

Instructions (40 minutes, mostly active):

Preparations: Clean and coarsely chop mushrooms. Trim asparagus and cut into 1-inch pieces, on the diagonal. Dice one small onion. Mince 3 cloves garlic.

Sauté your mushrooms and aromatics: Heat a large deep skillet over medium heat for about five minutes. Add 1 tbsp each extra virgin olive oil and butter to skillet. When butter has melted, add onion, garlic, and mushrooms to skillet. Season with ½ tsp each dried thyme, sea salt, and black pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add ¼ cup white wine to skillet and sauté another 3 – 4 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Incorporate the farro into your risotto: Add 1¼ cups farro to sautéed veggies. Stir for about 2 minutes to toast the grains. Add ½ cup chicken broth to skillet and stir for about 5 minutes, until the grains have absorbed all of the chicken broth. Repeat 5 more times, adding ½ cup chicken broth at a time.

Finishing up your risotto: After the first 3 cups of chicken broth have been absorbed, taste the farro. If it has a nice chewy texture, you are ready to add your asparagus. If it is still a bit crunchy, add the remaining ½ cup of chicken broth. When farro has reached the desired consistency, add the asparagus to the risotto. Sauté for another 3 minutes, until asparagus is crisp tender. Turn off heat. Stir goat cheese into risotto just until melted. Transfer to serving platter. Serve and enjoy!

Notes: I’ll admit, I’ve already made this multiple times this month. This farro risotto is tasty, easy, and (while asparagus and mushrooms are in season) super economical. Our whole family really enjoys this simple dinner and the leftovers taste great reheated the next day for lunch! Vegetarians can proceed as written when vegetable broth is used in place of the chicken broth. Those sensitive to gluten can use quinoa in place of the farro. This dinner is naturally nut-free and kid-friendly!

If you’ve purchased my cookbook, this is the perfect time of year to make Asparagus and Spaghetti alla Carbonara!!!

Does this sound delicious?!?  You may also enjoy…
Bacon, Corn, and Shrimp Risotto…Starring, Quinoa!
Mango and Chicken Thai Salad
Chocolate Raspberry Torte
Asian Crab and Soba Noodle Salad

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Comments

  1. Yum! I'll have to try this soon!!!

  2. Minus the onion (tee hee), it sounds delish!

  3. ♥Love your blog♥

  4. Sounds delicious and I'm not a big fan of goat cheese! Love your blog, recipes, information and all! I'm a nutritionist in Virginia and looking forward to reading more, thanks for sharing!

  5. hey Katie, So I tried this recipe with the farro and i came out on the gummy (mushy) side. What did I do wrong with my risotto do you think?

    thanks,
    Jen

  6. Alyne— Thank you as always!

  7. Loopy– Have you ever tried using shallots in place of onion? I have a friend that gets migraines from onion, but does fine with shallots. Apparantly, they have properties closer to garlic. Just curious! I miss you! Let's chat soon!

  8. Mary — Thank you so much! How do you do the little hearts? I love them!

  9. Holly –Thank you! If you aren't a goat cheese girl, we originally created this recipe using 3 tbsp of 1/2 and 1/2 and 1/4 cup parm-reg. (The goat cheese rocks though and is pretty subtle!) I am so glad you are enjoying the site!

  10. Jen– Nuts!!! First off, did you make sure to toast the farro for a couple of minutes before adding the first cup of broth? Secondly, did you give the farro plenty of time to absorb the broth before adding the next 1/2 cup? If yes to both of those questions, I would guess that you just kept going a little too long. Next time, I would try tasting the risotto after just 2 1/2 cups of broth. Maybe our stoves heat differently. 🙁 I'm sorry that it was mushy, I hate when dinners disapoint! Thanks for your honesty! Hopefully these suggestions will help someone else!

  11. I may not have given the farro enough time to absorb before adding the next 1/2 cup. I though I had, but it could also be that I let it go a bit too long on the stove. It definitely isn't a fault with your recipe. I had only cooked with farro once before, so it isn't something I am used to using. I will definitely make this recipe again, it was tastety for sure. I just wanted to see what I could do to not make it mushy. And you helped 🙂 I'll let you know how it turns out next time.

  12. At the bottom of the post it asks if this recipe sounds delicious. Before I realized it was suggesting other posts I was a little surprised the website knew I was really enthralled with this recipe. I am a mom and really tired!

Trackbacks

  1. […] (p.14) or the Savory Springtime Napoleon (p.4) from the spring section of my cookbook, or the Mushroom, Asparagus, and Goat Cheese Risotto previously featured on Healthnut […]

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