1 cup farro, soaked
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup spinach and flaxseed pesto
Salt and pepper to taste
Soak farro in water for 30 minutes and drain well. Heat stock in a small saucepan and keep warm over low heat. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, cook until softened. Add the drained farro, stirring constantly until toasted. Add wine and stir until evaporated. Add 1/2 cup of hot stock and stir constantly until completely absorbed. Continue adding the stock, 1/2 cup at a time, until the farro is creamy and tender, 25-30 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in spinach and flaxseed pesto. Season risotto to taste with salt and pepper.
When purchasing farro look for “whole” farro and avoid labels that say “pearled” as this is not the whole-grain variety. In its whole-grain form, farro is an excellent source of fiber; 1/4 cup dry (about 3/4 cup cooked) contains 7 grams. Farro is also a good source of protein (7 grams per 1/4 cup dry) and when paired with legumes (like beans, lentils, and peas) you get a “complete” protein, containing all of the essential amino acids in sufficient quantities and proportions required for human needs.
Recipe credit: Chef James O’Hara, PCEC, FMP, CHE, JWU Charlotte, Appetite for Life sponsored by UNC Nutritional Research Institute