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Recipe for Farro risotto with dried figs

Serves 4

Farro is a wheat grain that doesn’t become as creamy and tender as Arborio rice in a true risotto, but this has a soft-chewy texture and hearty flavor.

2tablespoons olive oil
4tablespoons unsalted
butter
1large onion, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
4cloves garlic, finely chopped
2cups farro
½cup dry red wine
2tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
7cups chicken stock, heated until hot
cups dried Mission figs (hard stems discarded), sliced lengthwise
1cup grated Parmesan

1. In a large flameproof casserole over medium heat, heat the oil. When it is hot, add 2 tablespoons of the butter. When it melts, add the onion, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

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2. Add the farro and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the farro starts to soften. Add the wine and stir until it evaporates. Stir in the thyme.

3. Add ½ cup of stock. Simmer, stirring almost constantly, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add stock, ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly, letting the farro absorb it before adding more. Total cooking time will be about 35 minutes or until the farro is chewy-tender and there’s enough creamy liquid in the pot so the farro isn’t dry.

4. Stir in the figs, ¾ cup of the Parmesan, and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Cover the pan and let the farro rest for 5 minutes.

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5. Uncover and check the consistency. Add more stock or a little
water if the mixture seems dry. Ladle the risotto into bowls. Pass the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan separately.

Adapted from Matthew Lagace

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