Deb’s Risotto-style Farro with Greens

I was lucky enough to spend most of last week high in the hills above San Francisco at a leadership development course that was held at an amazing property named Stillheart.  I was also lucky enough to meet an amazing caterer named Debbie Keith who, along with her sidekick Lorraine (lovingly called Quiche Lorraine), served us some amazing food.   Debbie is one of those spirits with whom you instantly bond and we had a blast helping her in the kitchen one evening. I was lucky enough to help with her risotto-style farro  – a heap of creamy, nutty goodness – that I just had to re-create at home this weekend.  If you haven’t tried farro, head out to the store this instant to buy some for dinner this eve. It is a nutty grain that the Italians love.  You can use it in soups; as a main course; as a salad. The recipe below is from Debbie’s great website  –  In this risotto style preparation, the farro softens in about 20 mins and is a delicious nutty backdrop for the creaminess of the cheese and bite of the greens.  I added some shitake mushrooms just prior to sautéing the farro.  Deb – thanks for the great recipe! Here is to cooking together in the future! Grande abbraccio!

Risotto-style Farro with Greens


2 T Olive Oil

1 Large Onion, Chopped

4 Garlic Cloves,  Finely Chopped

1 t Red Pepper Flakes

2 C Farro

2 C Dry White Wine, Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc

2 t Fresh Sage, Chopped

1 T Fresh Basil, Chopped

2 t Fresh Thyme, Chopped

4 -6 C Chicken or Vegetable Stock

3 C Kale, Roughly Chopped 3 C Swiss Chard or any other greens, Roughly Chopped

1 C Parmesan Cheese, Grated

1 C Romano Cheese, Grated

1 T Butter

Juice of 1 Lemon

Additional White Wine for the finish


In a medium sauce pan heat olive oil and add onions, garlic and red pepper flakes. saute until onions are translucent, 3-4 minutes.  Add farro and saute until farro is lightly brown.  Add wine, simmer and stir until almost all the liquid is gone.  Add 2 C stock.  Repeat until farro is cooked al dente.  Add kale & chard and stir until wilted.  Add cheese, stir until incorporated.  Before serving add butter and lemon and sprinkle with wine.


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