Farro Risotto With Sweet Corn and Tomatoes

Farro Risotto With Sweet Corn and Tomatoes

Here’s a heartier, whole-grain alternative to traditional risotto that doesn’t require as much attention or stirring. Pearled farro is a must for this recipe; the tough husks have been removed so the grains cook in less time. The farro simmers in a quick homemade corn stock that makes use of the leftover corn cobs and imparts a rich corn flavor. Finally, fresh tarragon gives this risotto a lot of personality, but basil would be a fresh substitute.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Using a sharp knife, cut the corn kernels off the cob, cutting as close to the cob as possible. Set the kernels aside and reserve the cobs.
  2. Step 2

    Make the corn stock: Holding the cobs over a medium saucepan, use a spoon to scrape down the sides of the cobs to release any additional corn and juices. Break the cobs in half and add to the saucepan, along with 8 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes before starting the risotto. (Keep the stock and corn cobs simmering while you cook the risotto.)
  3. Step 3

    While the corn stock simmers, heat the oil and butter in a separate pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and sauté until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the farro and stir for 1 minute. Add the white wine and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Step 4

    Increase the heat to medium and gradually add the corn stock, about 1 cup at a time, to the farro mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, and adding more stock as the farro absorbs it.
  5. Step 5

    When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, add the tomatoes, corn kernels, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Continue cooking, adding stock as necessary and stirring often, until the farro is tender, 10 to 15 more minutes. (You will use most — if not all — of the corn stock.) The risotto is done when the farro grains are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  6. Step 6

    Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan, tarragon and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.