In general, I am not a huge fan of rice. I only enjoy it in sushi. And that’s why we bought a 10 kg sushi rice bag from an Oriantal supermarket a few months ago. I can assure you that you can make many interesting things with sushi rice, including risotto, as long as you remember that it absorbs tons of liquids and you need to keep adding, if you don’t want to end up with a dry yet soggy (yes, that is possible!) rice mess.
I recently discovered a great alternative to rice, that can be used to make risotto-like dishes, add to soups and even on salads. It is called farro, and as wikipedia informs me, it’s a type of wheat. I found a variety that cooks super fast and within 10 minutes you have tender grains that keep their shape.
Ingredients (for 2 people)
- 1 1/3 cup farro
- 1 cup fresh basil
- lemon rind of one lemon. That is NOT optional. That’s the secret ingredient that makes it so yummy.
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (vegan option)
- 4-6 tablespoons olive oil
- a bit more olive oil to grease the pan
- In a deep pan heat the olive oil and at the same time boil a liter of water.
- Stir the farro into the warm oil and keep stirring for a minute or two.
- Slowly add about 2 cups of water and wait until it is absorbed.
- Keep adding water, 1/2 cup at a time, waiting for absorption.
- In a food processor combine the basil, nuts, cheese or nooch and olive oil. Blend until you have a paste.
- Once the farro is done to your liking, add in the pesto sauce and the lemon rind.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, turn off the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes.
As you can see, I served ours with some rocket and thin slices of goat cheese. You could go for a vegan cheese or just leave it out completely. The balsamic vinegar syrup goes also really well with this dish.
Try it out and let me know what you think. I am pretty sure that it tastes delicious with rice instead of farro as well 🙂