December 21, 2016

We’re in London for a chilly Christmas with my beloved sister Bec (super exciting!) so you’ll have to excuse the wintry fare over the next couple of weeks..I’ve given this earthy risotto a summer twist with plenty of fresh herbs and lemon. Using farro instead of aborio rice gives the risotto a nutty flavour while still oozing rich goodness. Merry Christmas xo

Serves: 4

1/3 large squash or pumpkin, peeled, cubed and roasted
1 cup farro
6 cups vegetable stock, heated
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
2/3 cup crumbled blue vein cheese
1 lemon, juice only
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Sea salt and pepper

In a medium bowl, mix together the farro and 4 cups of water. Soak for 30 minutes and drain well.
In a large pot, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 2 minutes, add garlic and cook another minute. Add the drained farro and cook, stirring constantly until toasted, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and stir constantly until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the hot stock and stir constantly until completely absorbed. Continue adding the remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, until the farro is creamy and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the blue cheese, lemon juice, parmesan, basil and  salt and pepper. Serve with extra parmesan and basil.

Gretchen Lowe, Food Stylist Auckland


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