Farrotto with Sherry-Braised Morels, Spring Onions, Green Garlic and Sweet Peas
Source: Mark Sullivan, Spruce
It was demonstarted for CUESA’s Market to Table Program on April 23, 2011
2 cups farro (whole grain or coarsely milled)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely diced yellow onion
Salt, to taste
2 cups white wine
6 cups chicken stock, brought to a simmer (plus additional as necessary)
Crème fraîche, to taste
Butter, to taste
Grated parmesan cheese, to taste
Braised mushrooms and spring vegetables
6 ounces guanciale, finely minced
1 herb bouquet (6 sprigs each of savory and thyme, tied with twine)
1 pound fresh morels, rinsed several times, drained dry (or other foraged mushroom)
1 pound spring onions, ends and dark green tops removed, split lengthwise, rinsed
6 ounces spring garlic, ends and dark green tops removed, sliced into 1-inch batons, rinsed
1½ cups sherry wine
1½ cups chicken stock
2 cups shucked English peas, blanched in salted water, refreshed in ice water, strained
½ cup Italian parsley, minced
Butter and/or extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Salt, to taste
For the Farrotto
1. Rinse the farro grains several times in cold water to clean them. Soak at room temperature for 30 minutes. Rinse a final time, drain, and reserve.
2. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium flame, add the onion and sauté until very tender, stirring frequently so they do not color, about 20 minutes. Season the onions to taste with salt.
3. Add the rinsed and soaked farro grains and sauté with the onions for several minutes, until lightly toasted. Add the wine, stir and cook until the liquid reduces completely. Add the simmering chicken stock, stir and reduce until nearly dry. Repeat with remaining stock, one cup at a time. This process will take approximately 45 minutes or until the grain is cooked to your liking. The finished texture should have a slight “toothiness,” but should not taste raw or overtly starchy.
4. Turn the heat off and add the crème fraîche, butter, and parmesan to taste. If you want it really luxurious, add more of the fat; if you want it light, add less. You can also omit the milk fat and finish this with a fruity extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and serve immediately.
For the braised mushrooms and spring vegetables
1. In a sauté pan over medium heat, render the guanciale with the herb bouquet for about 5 minutes. Add the cleaned morels and sauté, stirring frequently, until lightly toasty, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the spring onions and green garlic; continue cooking until they begin to lightly caramelize, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the sherry wine, turn the heat to high, and let reduce to a glaze. Add the chicken stock, turn the heat to low, cover with a parchment paper lid, and allow to lightly simmer until all of the ingredients are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
4. Add the cooked English peas and bring back to a simmer, about two minutes.
5. Turn off the heat, add the minced parsley, season to taste with salt and enrich with butter and/or extra virgin olive oil to your liking. Set aside.
Photo by Barry Jan