Farro Risotto With Green Peas
Farro Risotto With Green Peas

Farro Risotto With Green Peas

Farro risotto, or farrotto, uses this sturdy grain in the place of short-grain rice and adds a pleasant nuttiness and texture to a risotto. Puréed peas add sweetness, protein and a vibrant green that looks healthy and abundant.

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Total Time
1 Hour
1 tsp of chopped dried porcini or shiitake mushrooms
950ml of vegetable stock/broth
2 tbsp of olive oil or butter
2 medium leeks, white & light green parts only, thinly sliced into half-moons
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
185g of farro
For the pea puree
125g of frozen peas
2 big handfuls of fresh spinach
1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
Salt, to taste
For the garnishes
Grated parmesan (optional)
Toasted pine nuts
Fresh basil, finely chopped
Step 1

In a medium saucepan, combine the dried mushrooms and vegetable stock/broth and bring to a gentle simmer.

Step 2

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan with high sides or in a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil or butter over a medium-high heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring, for about 6-8 minutes until the leeks are softened, adding a little splash of water if the mixture becomes too dry.

Step 3

Add the farro and stir to coat in the olive oil and leeks and toast for about 2 minutes. Add the stock/broth one ladleful at a time, every 3-4 minutes, stirring once or twice and then letting it bubble until the liquid evaporates. Repeat until all the stock/broth has been added and the farro is tender and creamy, about 40 minutes.

Step 4

Meanwhile, thaw the frozen peas in a medium bowl by pouring boiling water over to submerge and covering with a lid. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Drain and transfer the peas to a blender or food processor. Add the spinach, a pinch or two of salt and the lemon juice. Purée until smoothish (I would encourage some chunks). You can add a tablespoon of warm water or stock/broth if needed to move things along.

Step 5

Finish the farro risotto by stirring in some parmesan (if using) and dividing among bowls. Top each bowl with the pea purée and swirl it in to incorporate. Top with toasted pine nuts, basil and more parmesan, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of The Vital Vegan by Leah Vanderveldt, published by Ryland Peters & Small (£20)

Photography by Clare Winfield © Ryland Peters & Small.

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