Winter Farro Risotto ala The Bloomy Rind

This robust side dish featuring cacio di bosca, a truffled Tuscan sheep’s milk cheese, is adapted from a recipe devised by The Bloomy Rind owner Robert Gonsalves.

Stunning ingredients for Farro Salad sit on a wood platter

Some of the stunning ingredients for Farro Risotto.

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped mixed flavorful mushrooms
    (Robert used portabella, button, and shiitake; we used maitake or chicken-of-the-woods.)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 sage leaves, tough stalks removed, chopped
  • 2 ounces marcona almonds, roughly chopped (¼ cup)
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth (click here)
  • 2 ounces prosciutto (4 thin slices)
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 large endive or an escarole heart, sliced crosswise
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano reggiano, finely grated (a heaped cup)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces cacio di bosca, shaved thinly with a vegetable peeler

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a heavy frying pan. Sauté mushrooms until cooked through. Stir in garlic and sage and turn off heat. Stir another few minutes, then place mixture along with almonds into a food processor; pulse to create a rough purée. This mixture may be made ahead and set aside or chilled in an airtight container.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat the broth in a small saucepan, and keep hot.

Heat a good-sized saucepan or casserole with a heavy bottom over medium heat; in it toast the farro, stirring constantly, for a few minutes. Add a ladleful of broth, taking care to wet all the grains (look out for some brisk boiling at the start). Turn heat to low and continue gradually adding broth and stirring until almost all the liquid is consumed between ladlefuls. Taste the farro; if you run out of broth and the grains are not tender-chewy yet, switch to boiling water and continue cooking until they are. (You can cover and keep warm for a few minutes at this point, if you need to.)

Meanwhile spread prosciutto slices out on a baking sheet and pop in the oven for a few minutes to crisp and turn mahogany-brown. Remove from oven and set aside until needed.

Stir the endive and the mushroom mixture into hot farro over lowest heat. Then remove from heat and fold in Parmigiano and butter. Garnish with shavings of cacio di bosca and slabs of prosciutto bark, and serve piping hot.

Serves 4.

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