Bluebird Grain Farms

Skip to content ↓ Navigation
Farro Risotto with Onion Cream

Recipe Yields 2 Servings

Recipe and photo credit: Maria Hines and Mercedes Pollmeir,  from their Book PEAK NUTRITION Smart Fuel for Outdoor Adventure


Pinch of sea salt, plus more to taste

1 cup farro

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup dry white wine, or stock of any kind

2 teaspoons minced garlic

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 cups loosely packed spinach (about 1 bunch)

1 tablespoon thinly sliced preserved lemon peel

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese or 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast


Tip: Preserved lemons can be found online or at well-stocked groceries. In a pinch, regular lemon will do. To make this gluten-free, substitute arborio or carnaroli rice (cooked according to the package directions). 

Fill a medium saucepan with water, ad a hearty pinch of salt, and set over high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Add the farro, cover, and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for 1 1/2 hours- it should be toothy but not too crunchy. Drain the farro and set it aside to cool in a large bowl.

While the farro is cooking, in a large saute pan over low heat, add half of the olive oil and the onions and “melt” them by slowly cooking them until soft without letting them brown, about 20 minutes. Add the wine and continue cooking for about another 20 minutes. The onions will be very soft and a small amount of liquid will remain in the pan.  Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper and scrape the onions and liquid into a blender.  Puree on high until the onions are smooth. Set aside.

Using the same large saute pan, add the remaining olive oil and the cooled farro. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the farro is hot, then stir the onion puree, spinach, parsley, preserved lemon, and parmesan.  Stir until well-combined and warmed through. taste for salt and pepper, adjust the seasoning if desired, and serve.