My love of truffle is not going anywhere. So I apologize in advance if it isn't your thing, but if it isn't, I gotta ask why?! Truffle is fancy af, but also makes everything taste 374782605 times better (it's science). So I urge you to consider buying yourself a small bottle and keeping it on hand. Yes, its pricey, but you only need the tiniest amount for your tastebuds to thank you. I think you're going to LOVE this creamy farro risotto for so many reasons, one of them being of course that is has truffle.
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Farro is an ancient grain that is quite popular in Italy. Similar to other wheat grains like spelt (although it is not spelt), it offers a delicious, nutty alternative to rice. And although I do LOVE regular risotto made with arborio rice, this farro risotto is a delicious change.
Farro is derived from wheat, so it is not gluten free. What I love about farro in particular is its high protein and fibre content. But the texture of it is what makes this dish work so well. It is chewy and really filling and when you combine it with the sturdy Le Puy green lentils, it packs an even heartier punch. Unlike risotto made with rice, I find when I cook farro risotto it is much more filling.
Farro has been traced back to early Mesopotamia (so over 20,000 years ago!) and has been a staple in Europe for a LONG time. Because it is an ancient grain, that also means it has remained unchanged. Most modern wheat is a lot more processed meaning there has been more cross-breeding and genetic manipulation. This is done to make more profit and increase production.
I used Le Puy green lentils in this dish because it offers even more to this dish, while also not taking anything away. It still tastes like a creamy and hearty risotto, but the lentils add more fibre and protein. And one thing I am sure of as a Holistic Nutritionist, most people could do with adding more fibre to their diet. I don't like to get all preachy about nutrition, but fibre is important people! And lentils are one of the best ways to increase your fibre intake.
Unlike green or red lentils, Le Puy green lentils are a lot sturdier which means they hold up their shape and don't get nearly as mushy. They are also a lot smaller than other lentils as well. Usually with recipes I am quite flexible and I would say you could swap this for that. However, with this farro risotto if you are adding lentils (which I think you should, because they're great), please only use Le Puy green lentils or French lentils.
One of the things I love about this farro risotto is that besides using farro and the French lentils as I have suggested above, you are free to make this your own. For example, if you want this to resemble a classic risotto, definitely use both the white wine and the broth, and don't skimp on the parmesan (or pecorino) at the end. It totally makes this dish! If you want a lighter option or you can't have dairy, you could omit and try adding some nutritional yeast at the end. I haven't tried that yet, but as a nutritional yeast fan, I think it could work. Or if you want some more veggies in this, you could also add some greens like spinach or kale. Personally, I like sticking to the basic version and just using a lot of different mushrooms. But you do you, make it your own. Recipes like this one are only ever a guideline!
I absolutely adore mushrooms, you can see the love for them in full force on my vegan mushroom pizza. Using dried mushrooms along with regular oyster mushrooms is what I did for this risotto. But if you want to use all fresh or just use dried, both options will work. For the dried, I used a mix of chanterelles and morels. They are both really rich tasting mushrooms that pair nicely with this risotto and of course with that drizzle of truffle oil. You can see another way to enjoy truffle (and mushrooms) with my socca pizza recipe.
If you want, you could serve this farro risotto with a nice salad on the side or even a vegetable soup. It really is quite filling on its own, so I usually find this with some white wine does the trick. I mean, you're already using the white wine in this recipe, might as well pour the rest in a glass and call it a day, right?
For the dutch oven, I love my Le Creuset one.
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A delicious take one classic risotto made with farro, French lentils, mushrooms and truffle.
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