For this week's farro challenge I wanted to make something I saw a Top Cheftestant cook many seasons ago: farrotto. I think that is a stupid word, but since I'm a fan of both risotto and farro, I decided to try it anyway.
After taking an inventory of my foods and scouring the internet, I chose to prepare farro risotto with kale and roasted acorn squash.
Even though the dish was very delicious I doubt I'll ever make it again. It took SO long to cook, I thought I would pass out from hunger! Basically, you have to a) peel/chop/roast an acorn squash, b) boil water and blanch some kale, c) season and roast farro, d) chop aromatics, and, finally - ha! - e) cook the farro in a risotto-like fashion. I'd say it took me about an hour and a half to get to step (e) and then about an hour to stand around like a chump, ladling broth into the cooking farro.
Once the farro(tto) was cooked, I added all the other prepped components and tossed around with some nice parmesan and butter. Boom, finally. And for all my wah-wah-ing, it really was very delicious.
I think it's a bit of a stretch to call it farro risotto, though. Risotto calls to mind that beautiful starchy-creamy business that make great risottos great. Farro doesn't really bleed much of its starchiness, so in the end this dish relies on butter and cheese to mimic that texture. And while it was tasty, it was definitely not risotto. Two days later, though, I would come to appreciate this.
Risotto doesn't keep well. That starchy-creamy whatever just gets all gelatinous and nasty. This is apparently not an issue with farrotto. For brunch a couple of days later I heated up the little I had left over and dropped a poached egg on top. I am a genius!
Getting two excellent meals out of this dish almost makes up for all the time spent making it. Almost.