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.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 3ears fresh corn, husks and silk removed
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts (1 to 2 leeks)
- 1 ½cups pearled farro (see Tip)
- ½cup dry white wine
- 1cup cherry tomatoes (about 6 ounces), halved
- ¾cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 2 ounces)
- 2teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon or basil
- 1teaspoon lemon zest
Step 1Using 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.
Step 2Make 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.)
Step 3While 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.
Step 4Increase 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.
Step 5When 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.
Step 6Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan, tarragon and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.