I got to go on a lovely date with John, my husband, last week while my kids were staying with their grandparents for a couple of days. For dinner we went to a neighborhood staple here in Decatur, Leon’s Full Service. I ordered a dainty dietitian-lady dish – the farro risotto with roasted chicken, which John teased me about as he ordered his usual manly brisket.
… AND THEN HE PROCEEDED TO TRY TO EAT MY ENTIRE DINNER.
Okay. Not really. He was polite about it, but he definitely preferred my meal, stole more than just a few bites, and eyed it jealously the entire meal. I had to try to recreate a healthy homemade version of this. It was so good I may even be able to get my kids to eat whole grains and vegetables for dinner. After some trial and error, the following is what I’ve come up with. It’s a very similar taste to the Leon’s version, minus the heavy cream that I suspect was very involved in the original dish. I didn’t include the chicken recipe here, but it could be topped with a grilled or roasted chicken or pork of your choosing. Bonus: the kids ate it up and no alternate food/bedtime snacking was required…!
Healthy Homemade Farro Risotto
3 cups unsalted chicken stock
3 TBSP olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, diced
1 cup pearled farro
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 tsp salt
5 ounces cooking greens (I used baby spinach and swiss chard, but you could use any combo of these or kale/baby kale)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
(1) Add chicken stock to a small sauce pan and heat over low heat. You’ll slowly add the warmed stock to the farro later on.
(2) Grab your Dutch oven or large sauce pan and heat on medium heat. Add 3 TBSP olive oil, coating pan. Add diced onion and cook 4-6 minutes or until the onion is tender and starting to turn translucent. Then add the garlic and cook an additional minute.
(3) Add the diced baby bella ‘shrooms and the farro to the pan. Cook on medium-high heat for approximately 3 minutes, then deglaze with 1/2 cup white wine, scraping any yummy browned mushroom bits off the pan.
(4) Add 1 cup of the warmed chicken stock plus the 1/4 tsp salt to the farro/mushroom mixture and cook (still over medium-high heat) approximately 10 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock and continue to cook until this is absorbed. Repeat this until the stock has all been incorporated, which should take about 30 – 40 minutes total. Stir in greens and cook 3-5 additional minutes. Stir in parmesan cheese, or add it at the table, whichever you prefer.
Recipe makes approximately 6 adult sized servings. Enjoy y’all!