Spring Vegetable Farro Risotto

Image Used with Permission
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1⁄4 cup finely diced onions
  • 8 ounces farro
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 11⁄2 quarts vegetable stock, plus 2 cups for serving
  • 4 ounces asparagus, blanched and cut on a bias in 1⁄4 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons blanched, thinly-sliced leeks
  • 4 ounces spring peas
  • 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 teaspoons chives, finely diced, plus more for garnish
  • 2 farm eggs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

“I like to use farro in this recipe as it has a little more protein than Arborio rice for a well-rounded, vegetarian meal. Farro is an ancient Italian grain from Umbria with a firm, slightly chewy, and nutty texture. Pan-cooking the farro saves extra time just before service. Depending on the season, I’ll add whatever local vegetables are available.” — David DiGregorio, executive chef, Osteria Via Stato, Chicago

Yield: 2 entrées or 4–6 small portions shared family-style

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onions; cook until translucent. Add the farro; cook until just toasted, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Slowly add stock in three stages, or until the farro is cooked completely, stirring often. Remove from heat. Spread on sheet tray; refrigerate until service.
  3. To serve: In a large pot, add farro and 2 cups stock. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Stir in the vegetables.
  4. Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon of butter in a small pan over medium-low heat. Crack egg into pan; season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, basting yolk with butter until white is set and yolk is still runny. Remove and set aside. Repeat with remaining egg.
  5. Remove farro from heat. Add cheese, butter, and chives; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Divide farro evenly between two bowls, top each with a sunny side-up egg, and a sprinkling of chives.