I was so happy when I found a lovely bunch of rapini (AKA broccoli rabe) at the market, that I purchased it without even thinking about how to use it. Of course, there are all the usual suspects: with pasta and Italian sausage, or with mozzarella and red peppers. But I needed a new way to use the famously bitter green.
This recipe from Cooking With the Single Guy caught my eye. While I'm not always keen on making risotto with anything but great rice, this recipe really impressed me. The farro comes out tender but still al dente, and the butter and parmesan make sure it's still filling. But it's the rapini that really makes this. The greens add almost a citrus note to each bite. It's really hard to describe, but I can definitely say it works.
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ cups farro
- 3 cups rapini, chopped
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper
Pour stock into a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, pour olive oil to a heavy-bottomed [lidded] saucepan set over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft and translucent, three to four minutes. Add farro and let toast for 30 seconds, stirring often. Pour in the white wine. Stir well, and let cook until wine has evaporated.
Add a few ladles full of the stock. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated. Continue adding stock a few ladles full at a time until farro is tender, about 25 minutes. You might not use all of the stock. With about ten minutes left on your timer, add the chopped rapini.
When farro is done, turn off the heat, add the butter, cheese, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well. Add more salt and pepper if needed at this point. Serve immediately.