Golden Beet and Shiitake Farrotto

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Posted by Lynda Balslev

When you switch out the rice with farro in this risotto-style dish, you end up with farrotto. Like rice, the farro grains steep and simmer in stock, but without the nonstop requirement of stirring with rice. The difference is that farro has a hearty chewy texture, never succumbing to mushiness. Each nutty whole wheat grain maintains its shape, exuding earthy wholesomeness. You can’t help but feel healthy when you eat it.

Farro has an ancient pedigree, originating in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Also known as emmer, and compared to spelt, farro is a species of wheat, high in fiber and rich in protein and B vitamins. It’s delicious in salads, pilafs, breads, soups and stews. If you haven’t tried it, you should.

Farro with Golden Beets and Shiitake Mushrooms 

Carrot and rutabagas are good substitutes for the beets. Serves 4 to 6.

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium shallot, finely chopped, about 1/4 cup
6 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups farro, rinsed and drained
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 medium yellow beets, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the farro and cook, stirring, until slightly toasted, about 1 minute. Pour in the stock and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until the farro is tender but chewy, 20 to 25 minutes.
While the farro is cooking, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the beets and sprinkle with salt. Sauté until crisp tender and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a plate.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the same skillet. Add the mushrooms in one layer and cook over medium-high heat until softened and slightly golden, 5 to 6 minutes.
To serve, toss farro with the beets and parlsey. If using feta, sprinkle over the farro. Serve warm or at room temperature.

12 responses to “Golden Beet and Shiitake Farrotto

  1. This sounds very interesting. I never sautéed beets before.

  2. This looks so delicious!

  3. My family adores faro, although they will kindly ask “What grain is this?” The texture is much more pleasing than wheat or Kamut berries! The soy sauce and mushrooms add a depth of flavor that is so enticing!

  4. I have to try farro – love its use in your recipe and lovely dish.

  5. Delicious! I am a big fan of farro.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  6. This looks fantastic – and so healthy! I’m thinking of trying to grow beets this year!

  7. Oooh, farro! I keep meaning to go out and get some but I can never seem to find it when I do…will have to keep looking I guess.

  8. This sounds like a dish that I know I would enjoy just the way it is as I love beets.

  9. I love the texture of farro, and MUST give this dish a try. Haven’t cooked with shiitakes in forever…silly me.

  10. I’ve never had farro, but you have inspired me to! This looks so delicious, and I’m looking for healthy meals for lunch! Oh, and by the way, I want that bowl, I want that fork, and I want that napkin!! Just beautiful!! :-)

  11. I need to do this! Katherine had farro risotto at a restaurant and has been talking about it since. This looks delicious.