When I made the switch to no-fat vegan eating, I grieved for my long-favorite cookbooks filled with the foods that had given me and my family such tasty memories over the years. After just a few weeks, I began to adapt those recipe treasures, and I am happy to say that with the right tools and a little creativity, many if not most things are possible! Here is an adapted version of a delicious recipe from Lynne Rossetto Kasper out of my all-time favorite Italian cookbook “The Italian Country Table”. Farro is one of many super satisfying, nutty whole grains I’ve come to love. Cook this for a full hour and the flavors of orange, sage, garlic and fennel and wine will carmelize into heavenly sweetness.
Farro Risotto with Garlic, Orange, and Sage
1 1/2 C farro
1 C hot water
2 large onions, chopped
10 large or 20 small fresh sage leaves, chopped
2 4-inch branches fresh rosemary
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 undrained can garbanzo beans
8-10 C hot vegetable broth (or same volume H2O with 2 heaping TBSP Better Than Bullion Vegatable)
Zest of 1 orange
4 cloves garlic, pressed or microplaned
1/2 C favorite white wine
Pepper & Salt or salt substitute
Fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped
Put dry farro in a 3 cup bowl and cover with very hot water for 15 minutes. “Saute” onion, sage, rosemary and fennel by placing in a large pot or deep saucepan, tossing with 1 or 2 cups broth, and covering with a lid. Simmer until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Remove lid. Add the garbanzo beans w/liquid, garlic, farro, and 1/2 the orange zest. Cook on medium until liquid evaporates and begin adding hot broth 1 cup at a time, cooking and stirring until liquid evaporates and your hot broth is gone. The cooking time will take about 50 minutes. Don’t hurry, the carmelization process is so important to the result, and besides, you can drink a glass of wine while you cook! Test to make sure the farro is cooked to your liking. It will have a uniform, chewy texture similar to cooked barley. When all the liquid is absorbed and the farro is done, stir in the remaining orange zest and white wine. Season to your taste with salt substitute or salt & freshly ground pepper. Simmer another few minutes until creamy and rich. Serve with chopped parsley.