Great Grains: Farro & Leek Risotto

In our slim-obsessed society we often lump carbohydrates into one demonized category to be avoided at all costs. Carbophobes, listen up!! Not only are whole grains an excellent source of vitamin E, they’re crucial to your metabolism because they’re rich in B-complex vitamins. They’re also packed full of dietary fiber–a.k.a. your best ally against over-eating and weight gain.

So how can you work these great grains into your diet? How about a delicious whole grain risotto recipe using farro and featuring another dietary supastar–leeks!

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Leeks are a great source of Vitamin A. In fact, one serving contains up to 1/3 of your daily recommended value. As a member of the onion family they are a great source of allicin, which has proven anti-fungal and antibacterial properties–part of what gives these green tubers prebiotic properties. Prebiotics have been proven to alleviate symptoms of IBS and may reduce the risk of certain kinds of cancer.

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What You’ll Need:

  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed thoroughly and sliced into rings
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups cooked farro (3/4 cup uncooked)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tbs fresh lemon juice

How to Make It:

  1. Bring stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy saucepan. Add diced onion and a pinch of salt, sautéing for 3-4 min. Then add leeks and sauté another 2-3 min. Once onions and leeks begin to soften, add garlic and Arborio rice. Cook about 3 min, or until rice begins to crackle.
  3. Pour in wine and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the wine has almost completely disappeared. Stir in one ladleful of simmering stock. The stock should bubble not boil. Cook, stirring often, until it’s almost absorbed. Add another ladleful and continue cooking like this (adding more liquid when the rice is almost dry) until you’ve used up most of your stock and the rice is al dente.
  4. Stir in the pre-cooked farro (make it according to the directions on the package), parsley  fresh lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. and herbs. Add another ladleful of stock and continue to cook for a minute, then a remove from the heat.
  5. The risotto should be creamy but not runny. If it’s dry, add a little stock.

Making this will be a labor of love. You’re constantly ladling and stirring, so grab a glass of wine and don’t drift too far from the stove. It’ll be worth it, I promise!

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