Sweet Corn Farro Risotto
Risotto – it’s one of those quintessential comfort foods! Generally known as a rice dish, as well as a method of cooking, this modern take on the classic is prepared with whole grain farro to up the nutrient value. Fresh sweet corn adds a wonderful flavor dimension as well as starchy creaminess, so cheese is not necessary. Parmesan is a wonderful garnish, however, if you wish! If farro is not available, barley is a terrific substitute.
For a vegetarian or vegan version, eliminate the bacon. Corn stock can also be used. Make it from 6 – 8 corn cobs once the kernels are removed.
Makes: 4 – 6 servings
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and small diced (about 1 cup)
2 slices of uncooked bacon, diced
1 small clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup farro, rinsed in cold water, drained
1/2 cup white wine or apple cider
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked Spanish-style paprika (not hot paprika)
1 cup raw sweet corn, cut off the cob (about 1 – 2 ears)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped chives, green onions, or fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish (optional)
- Place the stock into a medium-sized saucepan, cover and heat to a low simmer to heat through. Keep covered and turn heat to low or warm. Stock should not continue to simmer, just be kept warm.
- Place the bacon into a large, unheated saucepan. Heat the pan to medium-low, and cook the bacon until brown. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Leave up to 2 teaspoons of bacon fat in the pan, discarding any more than that.
- Add the olive oil to the same pan containing the fat rendered from the bacon. Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until brown and translucent, about 5 – 7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the farro and toast about 2 minutes, stirring frequently so as not to burn. Carefully pour the wine in the center of the pan (so as not to flame), stir, and allow to cook until just a small amount remains. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the paprika and stir to coat.
- Add 1/2 cup of the warm stock to the farro mixture. Stir, and allow the farro to simmer and begin absorbing the liquid. Lower the heat slightly to maintain a gentle simmer. When the liquid is fully absorbed, add the next 1/2 cup of stock. Continue this process, adding 1/2 cup at a time, stirring, then allowing it to fully absorb before adding more.
- When 1 cup of stock is left to be added, stir in the sweet corn and cooked bacon. Continue to add the remaining 1 cup of stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring, allowing the corn to cook and the farro to absorb the liquid.
- When all is absorbed, the farro should be soft yet hold its shape and the texture should be slightly creamy. If the farro is too chewy, add a small amount of additional stock. Allow to simmer and absorb. Season with the salt and pepper, stirring to combine.
- Transfer to a serving bowl or individual serving dishes. Serve as is, or garnish with chopped chives, green onions or fresh parsley, and grated Parmesan cheese.
© 2020 Susan Denzer, Love + Craft Kitchen, LLC, All Rights Reserved
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