Farro, Bacon and Roasted Mushroom Risotto

Farro is one of the ancient grains I truly adore. It has a chewy bite and slightly nutty flavor, making it a fun substitute for arborio rice, which you would typically use in a risotto recipe. The pairing of the farro with bacon, meaty mushrooms and salty Parmesan is so good – I would definitely recommend this as a dish to use for entertaining (but it’s easy enough to make for a weeknight meal too).

Serve this with a side of roasted green veggies (broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts) and/or a green salad lightly tossed with oil and vinegar.

  1. Heat oven to 400. Combine mushrooms, garlic, thyme, rosemary and olive oil in a small bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper (you don’t want to use too much salt because the bacon will provide a lot of salty flavor in this dish). Spread the mushrooms evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

2. Meanwhile, bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat.

3. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp; drain on paper towels. Pour off most of the bacon grease into a metal bowl (discard once it’s cooled), keeping about 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings in the pan. Add the farro, onion and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the onion starts to soften. Add white wine and reduce by half.

4. Add 1 ladle of stock at a time and cook, stirring often (the more you stir, the creamier it will be), until the farro is soft.

5. Stir in roasted mushrooms and season the risotto with salt and pepper (taste first to see if it needs any). Stir in parsley and Parmesan.

6. Serve the risotto garnished with crispy bacon and more Parmesan, if desired.

Farro, Bacon & Roasted Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4

All you need:

8 oz. cremini mushrooms

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon olive oil

3 slices bacon, diced small

1 cup pre-cooked farro (regular farro works too, it will just take about 15 minutes longer to cook)

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish)

All you do:

  1. Heat oven to 400. Combine mushrooms, garlic, thyme, rosemary and olive oil in a small bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper (you don’t want to use too much salt because the bacon will provide a lot of salty flavor in this dish). Spread the mushrooms evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  2. Meanwhile, bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp; drain on paper towels. Pour off most of the bacon grease into a metal bowl (discard once it’s cooled), keeping about 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings in the pan. Add the farro, onion and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the onion starts to soften. Add white wine and reduce by half.
  4. Add 1 ladle of stock at a time and cook, stirring often (the more you stir, the creamer it will be), until the farro is softened.
  5. Stir in roasted mushrooms and season the risotto with salt and pepper (taste first to see if it needs any). Stir in parsley and Parmesan.
  6. Serve the risotto garnished with crispy bacon and more Parmesan, if desired.

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