Mushroom Farro Risotto with Roasted Cauliflower

As the weather takes a chillier turn, warm, rich comfort food beckons. Sue Schickler, executive chef of the luxurious Pitcher Inn in Warren, shares her recipe for Mushroom Farro Risotto with Roasted Cauliflower.
Photography By Brent Harrewyn | August 26, 2016

About this recipe

When the weather turns cooler, we think of risotto. Chef Sue Schickler executive chef of the luxurious Pitcher Inn in Warren, suggests using nutty farro in lieu of Arborio rice and stirs in some roasted cauliflower and sautéed mushrooms. Grated truffled pecorino lends a rich earthy touch at the end. Delicious on its own or as an accompaniment to roasted chicken.

Preparation

Makes 4 servings as a main course

For the Farro:

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4  pound mixed mushrooms, such as black trumpet, crimini, oyster and porcini, trimmed and sliced 1/2” thick
1/2 onion, diced small
1 leek, washed and diced small, white and pale green parts only
2 cups farro
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 quart vegetable stock or chicken stock
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces truffled pecorino, divided with half finely grated

Bring the vegetable stock to a simmer.  In a sauce pan heat half the olive oil and gently cook the diced onion and leek, being careful not to let it brown.  In a sauté pan, heat the remaining olive oil and sauté the mushrooms over medium high heat, letting them get a nice golden brown. Set aside in the sauté pan.  When the onions are soft add the farro to the pan, turning up the heat and stir the farro to to coat the grains for 1 or 2 minutes.  When quite hot add the wine, lower the heat a bit and stir while the wine reduces.  When there is very little liquid left add about a cup of the simmering stock, season with salt and stir.  When most of the stock is absorbed add another cup or so of stock.  Continue on in this manner as you would for risotto. When you are left with 1 or 2 cups of stock, put the mushroom pan back on the heat, deglaze the pan with a little of the stock and add the mushrooms to the farro.  When the farro is tender, finish the dish by stirring in the butter and grated pecorino.  Adjust the seasoning if needed, divide among 4 bowls and using a vegetable peeler shave strips of the pecorino over the top of each dish.  Garnish with the roasted cauliflower.

For the Cauliflower:

1 head cauliflower
1 teaspoon toasted ground caraway seed
salt to taste
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375°
Cut the core out of the cauliflower and slice the cauliflower into 3/4” slices.  Toss in a bowl with the caraway, salt and olive oil. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast until tender with the edges getting a little crispy and brown, about 20 minutes.

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