Mushroom and Kale Farrotto with Lemon Chili Butter

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I read an article last week about “meals professional chefs make when they’re lazy” and one of them said risotto. Let’s do a collective eye-roll.

I really enjoy making farrotto, which is basically risotto but made with farro instead of arborio rice. Farro is an earthy grain that takes on a great nutty flavor if you toast it before cooking. It’s heckin expensive (at least where I live) but if you’ve got time, patience, and some dollar bills, I recommend giving it a shot.

For this recipe, I also recommend having a helper in the kitchen. I did it by myself, but it was stressful. Too bad Phin doesn’t have opposable thumbs or the proper enzymes needed to digest shallots.

Wild Mushroom & Kale Farrotto with Lemon Chili Butter
Adapted from Marley Spoon

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 oz shallot, chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup farro
  • 8 oz mixed mushrooms (I used 4 oz. maitake and 4 oz. cremini)
  • ¼ oz parsley
  • ¼ oz chives
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 ½ oz parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil

Grate zest of one lemon into a small ball. Add butter, red chili flakes, and ¼ tsp salt, and set aside to soften. When softened, stir to mix.

Finely chop parsley and chives and combine in a small bowl. Set aside. Clean the mushrooms and pat dry with paper towels. If you’re using maitakes, rip with your hands. For creminis, discard the stem and slice into ½ inch pieces. For any other type of mushroom, figure it out on your own. Set aside. Remove stems from kale and coarsely chop. Set aside. Finely grate parmesan. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups water and vegetable broth to a simmer; remove from heat. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add chopped shallot and farro, stirring occasionally until farro is toasted, about 3-5 minutes. Add 1 cup of broth and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is mostly absorbed. Add another ½ cup broth and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is mostly absorbed. Continue until 1 cup of broth remains.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and cook without stirring until edges are golden brown. Don’t overcrowd your pan, as this will cause the mushrooms to steam instead of brown. Once the edges begin to brown, toss until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Season with salt and pepper, then add chopped herbs.

When all but 1 cup of broth remains from the farro, stir in the kale, a pinch of salt, and the remaining cup of broth. Cook, stirring, until farro is tender, kale is wilted, and liquid is nearly absorbed.

Stir butter mixture into farrotto. Stir in all but 2 tablespoons of parmesan. Stir in the mushroom mixture. Serve with remaining parmesan sprinkled on top.

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