Move over quinoa, there’s a new grain in town.

Sweet Corn, Gouda and Farro Risotto on foodiecrush.com

Well, now, wait a minute. Farro is far from new with its roots running deep, deep, deep (pun intended) and this ancient grain is making major waves in the foodie scene.

The 90’s were all about couscous (which I still adore), the 00’s saw the wave of wild and unusual rices, and who can’t open a cookbook / food blog / food magazine for the past few years without seeing the glories of quinoa being extolled from the high heavens. But do you farro? If not, you should.

Farro is one of those wonder grains that to a lot of us mainstream eaters in the U.S., seems a bit outlandish and even exotic. But is it? If you consider the grain of choice that ancient Egyptian kings dined on as exotic, then yes, exotic it is. I mean, they were KINGS! But that hardly makes this grain unapproachable or intimidating. In fact, farro might be the easiest grain of all to cook and it’s versatility will have quinoa looking hard and fast in the rear view mirror, just waiting for farro to take over it’s first place run in the superfood popularity polls.

Sweet Corn, Gouda and Farro Risotto on foodiecrush.com

Until last year, I hadn’t yet farro’d. But with just one forkful of this risotto-esque farro recipe, I became a convert.

This Sweet Corn, Gouda and Farro recipe comes with high requests. It was originally devised by Jodie Rogers, the Executive Chef of Deer Valley Resort, for a Niman Ranch farmer appreciation dinner she and fellow Chef Clark Norris were invited to participate in with 5 other award winning chefs from around the country. For 1,500 dinners. That’s a lot of farro.

Last year, Jodie recreated this farro recipe for a far smaller cast of characters at the Better Blog Retreat. From the food bloggers’ response and request for the recipe, it was likely the dish that made the biggest impression of the night.

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Deer Valley Resort’s Executive Chef Jodie Rogers, Julie Wilson, Director of Food and Beverage and Katy McEver, Communications Coordinator

 

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So what’ the attraction to farro?

Like many other whole foods farro is high in nutrients and fiber. It has a nutty, crunchy bite even when cooked that makes the mellowness and adaptability of quinoa’s flavorings simply whisper away in the wind. This is a hearty grain, and is the perfect solution to help convert your meaty protein lovers to a more whole grain diet. It’s filling.

After making this recipe, I cooked another batch of farro to have on hand. I simply followed the package directions and boiled it in water (or stock) for 30 minutes. Perfect for lunchtime salads or soups, and yes, add it to yogurt with fruit for breakfast too.

Anything quinoa can do, farro can do too.

Sweet Corn, Gouda and Farro Risotto on foodiecrush.com

Sweet Corn, Gouda and Farro Risotto on foodiecrush.com

Sweet Corn, Gouda and Farro Risotto on foodiecrush.com

Sweet Corn, Gouda and Farro Risotto on foodiecrush.com

About the recipe: I used organic farro from Bob’s Red Mill for this recipe and calls for an overnight soak in water to soften the grains and ready them for risotto-style cooking.

This recipe uses sweet corn straight from the cob. I found a few remaining cobs from harvest at the farmer’s market, but if you can’t find fresh, Jodie recommends air-dried corn. Or you could simply try a good brand of frozen.

A white wine is added to the veggies after their sauté and really adds to the recipe. Non-drinkers don’t fret, all of the alcohol is cooked out.

Ahhh. Gouda. What could be good-a than gouda added to a recipe? Gouda is one of the ultimate melty cheeses and envelops each kernel of grain and veggie dice in only the best way possible. The bit of butter mixed in doubles the creamy factor. Heaven.

The farro is cooked just as you would risotto, with warm broth ladled into the farro mixture 1/2 cups at a time until reduced and then added more again until the farro is cooked through. Farro is done when it decides to be done, so allow for taste testing along the way.

Sweet Corn, Gouda and Farro Risotto
 
Serves: serves 3-4 as a main, 6-8 as a side dish
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup organic farro, soaked in water overnight in the refrigerator
  • 3-4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small diced
  • 1 small carrot, small diced
  • 1 stick celery, small diced
  • 2 tablespoons crushed garlic
  • 2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed (or use air-dried corn)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup gouda cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Strain the farro, and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. In a separate 10-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and sauté until transparent. Add the sweet corn and stir.
  3. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the farro and cook for 3 minutes while stirring continuously. Add the broth ½ cup at a time, continuing to stir after each addition until the farro has absorbed most of the liquid and reaches al denté, about 45 minutes. Occasionally test the farro for tenderness. *Note: All of the liquid may not be used.
  4. Remove the farro from the heat and stir in the butter, gouda and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet Corn, Gouda and Farro Risotto on foodiecrush.com

15 More Farro Recipes to Freak Out Over

While restaurants and chefs have been fawning over farro for the past few years, and food bloggers are highlighting its merits and ease in the kitchen with feast-worthy recipes, too. Here are 15 more farro recipes to love forever.

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Roasted Vegetable and Farro Salad with Pomegrantes

A sweetened, simple dressing over oven roasted veggies makes this salad perfect for lunch and yes! Dinner too. Recipe on Baked Bree, here. 

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One Pan Farro with Tomatoes, Sausage and Kale

This recipe only requires one large pot and 30 minutes of your time for far-out farro bliss. Recipe on Vintage Mixer, here.

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Chopped Farro and Kale Greek Salad

A bit of chopping, a bit of farro-ing. I could get use to this! Recipe on Lauren’s Latest, here. 

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Farro and Quinoa Sriracha Chili

Now this is the kind of whole foods, stick-to-your-ribs recipe any meat eater could get behind. Recipe on Bakeaholic Mama, here.

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Easy Farro Salad with Goat Cheese and Cranberries

All the flavors of Thanksgiving. This would look stellar on the t-day table. Recipe on Cookin’ Canuck, here.

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Meatballs with Farro and Rosemary

Sneaking in healthy ingredients to family favorite recipes is the secret to every mom’s success. Recipe on Cook the Story, here. 

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Brussels Sprouts and Farro Salad with Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese

This cornucopia of flavors cooks up in under 30 minutes. Fast and farro, just how I like it. Recipe on Completely Delicious, here

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Black Bean with Farro and Avocado

What better way to convert the uninitiated than by adding avocado to your farro. Score one for the cook! Recipe on Reluctant Entertainer, here

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Mason Jar Chickpea, Farro and Greens Salad

Farro on the go! What could make eating a whole grain lunch any easier? Recipe on Cookie & Kate, here. 

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Tomato and Squash Gratin with Farro and Chicken Sausage

Piled high with veggies, this gratin can go meat-free if you so desire. Me? I dig sausage so I’m keeping it as is. Recipe on Climbing Grier Mountain, here.

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Italian Tuna and White Bean Farro Salad

Is eating farro 4 days in a row overkill? Aggie thinks not. Recipe on Aggie’s Kitchen, here.

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Farro Risotto with Acorn Squash and Kale

I’m on a risotto ladling roll and this combo sounds fall-rific. Recipe on Love and Olive Oil, here.

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Cilantro Lime Farro

Much healthier than traditional Mexican rice, this version is protein packed with flavor. Recipe on Gimme Some Oven, here

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Broken Farro Porridge with Coconut Milk, Almonds, and Roasted Plums

The proof is in the porridge, farro isn’t just for lunch and dinner anymore. Dessert for breakfast, everyone! Recipe on Blogging Over Thyme, here.

Now, there’s no excuse not to farro. Get cooking!

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