Farro and Kale Risotto with Roasted Tomatoes
One of my very favorite cooking “projects” is risotto. I love the ritual of it. I love that once you’ve made it a few times, you’ve memorized the procedure for it and can make it again and again, no recipe needed.
I love that it’s gourmet and elegant, but simple. I love that it’s sort of time-consuming, but gives you time in the kitchen to listen to music, unload the dishwasher, and have a glass of wine. I love that it requires patience.
Risotto is a ritual. I do it the same way each and every time, albeit with different flavoring ingredients (hello, coconut risotto). Heat the stock. Saute the aromatics. Add the grain. Stir in some wine.
Gradually add broth and stir stir stir for the next 20 to 45 minutes, depending on which type of grain I’m using. Finish with cheese. Eat right away.
The only thing I don’t absolutely love about risotto is that it’s not exactly the healthiest food in the world. Let’s face it, traditional risotto is basically just a giant bowl of white rice. Delicious to indulge in once in awhile, for sure.
But since I like to eat risotto more than once in awhile during the cold Michigan winter, I needed to find some alternatives. I’ve already experimented with steel cut oat risotto, and now I wanted to move on to something more exotic.
Enter farro. I flavored this farro and kale risotto with garlic, shallot and white wine, then stirred in shredded kale (also great in cabbage potato soup) and Parmesan cheese.
While the risotto was working away on the stove, I threw some plum tomatoes in the oven to roast into an elegant garnish for this big bowl of goodness.
For the Roasted Tomatoes:
- 4 plum tomatoes
- 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Farro & Kale Risotto:
- 5 cups less-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup farro
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves cut into ribbons
- 1/2 cup shaved or grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for garnish
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Make Roasted Tomatoes: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise. Use your fingers to scrape out seeds and any fibrous core. Use tip of knife to carefully remove stem portion. Place tomatoes cut side up on rimmed baking pan. Drizzle with oil, then sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper. Bake 25 minutes or until tomatoes are slightly shriveled and caramelized. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, make Farro & Kale Risotto: In medium covered saucepot, heat broth to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.
- In large high-side skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add garlic, shallot and salt; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add farro; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until all wine is absorbed.
- Add 1/2 cup hot broth and cook until almost all absorbed, stirring occasionally. Continue adding broth in 1/2 cup increments and stirring occasionally about 45 minutes or until farro is tender. Stir in kale, cheese and Worcestershire, stir until kale is wilted (add more broth if mixture gets too thick). Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, additional cheese and Roasted Tomatoes.