Beet, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Farro Risotto
Beet, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Farro Risotto – Have you pushed out of your comfort zone lately? Tuscan Fields provided farro samples to 50 bloggers to compete for a conference scholarship to Eat, Write, Retreat in May, and I’m entering. I’ve never even heard of farro let alone know what to do with it. Not only did this challenge push me out of my cooking comfort zone, it also pushed me to photograph “ugly” food. So what inspired me to do a Beet, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Farro Risotto? I….have no idea. Those three things just seemed like a natural and not so boring pairing. I did make a beet risotto once, so I knew the idea wasn’t too far fetched. I love eating a spinach salad with beets and goat cheese, so I figured why not put all three into a risotto?
What is farro? It’s a type of grain that is a pretty common staple in Tuscan cuisine. Farro has a nutty and slightly sweet flavor with a pleasant chewy texture, which makes it very versatile for dishes such as salads, soups, and risotto.
Speaking of risotto, don’t be scared! If you’re a fan of cooking competition shows, then you probably think risotto is challenging because nobody seems to cook it right. If the pros can’t cook it, surely home cooks can’t. That is a lie! They have trouble because they are too busy multi-tasking. Risotto is a dish where you can’t leave the pot for more than a few minutes. You gradually add liquid, and once that liquid is absorbed, you gradually add more. The term risotto refers to the technique of gradually adding hot liquid to the pan, not the type of grain used. That is why you never see anything labeled as “risotto rice” at the store (says the girl who tried that once) and why I was able to use farro and not rice.
I used Tuscan Field’s Wild Mushroom blend (Farro ai Funghi) because my original plan was to make the risotto and stuff them into mushroom caps, having the element of double mushrooms. However, I didn’t like how they turned out. Fortunately, I still had plenty of risotto left in the pot. Regardless of who wins the scholarship, I’m pretty happy with my Beet, Spinach and Goat Cheese Farro Risotto, both the taste and the photographs. Thank you, Tuscan Fields, for sending one blogger to Eat, Write, Retreat.
Beet, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Farro Risotto
Beet, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Risotto made with farro
- 3 cups broth, any flavor
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, chopped (roughly 1/2 cup)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 cups farro
- 1 cup beets, cooked, peeled and chopped*
- 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
- 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- In a medium saucepan, warm up the broth. Keep the broth warm while cooking but don't let it boil.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the farro and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in some of the warm broth and stir. Cook until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Add some more of the broth and cook until it is mostly absorbed. Repeat this process until all of the broth is absorbed, but don't rush it.
- After all of the broth has been added and cooked, add the beets, spinach, and goat cheese. Cook until the cheese has melted and the spinach is wilted and cooked. Remove from the heat and serve.
*To cook beets ahead of time, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the beets and turn the water down to a simmer. Cook until a fork comes out of it easily (can take anywhere from 45 minutes to a few hours. It really depends on the size of the beets). © Chocolate Moosey. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish a recipe, please rewrite it in your own words or link back to the post for the recipe.
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Now this is my kind of food! I love farro and find it similar to wheatberries in taste and texture. Your dish looks fantastic!
I adore farro! And your risotto is beautiful. I love the colors of it. I’m also loving the ingredients. I could eat a bowl of this quite often.
Carla, this looks GORGEOUS! I would not even classify this as an “ugly” dish because you made it look beautiful. I love the auburn hue! Then again, if it was me and a bowl of farro, it would likely not look this beautiful ha. Plus, you’ve taken so many of my favorite flavors and put them in one dish–this sounds delicious! I may need to try it :) Good luck & hopefully I’ll see you at EWR!
I was channeling my inner Bon Appetit when photographing this haha Thanks Kelly!
I just posted today (unrelated to Tuscan farro) about how I think farro looks like Sugar Smacks cereal to me. (I used it in Taco Farro). I love the idea of combining beets, spinach, and goat cheese with a grain, and farro seems like an excellent choice.
Oh it does look like Sugar Smacks! Taco farro sounds really good to me right now. Thanks Kirsten!
I haven’t tried making risotto with anything but arborio rice yet, but this looks so delicious. Kudos on photographing ugly food and making it look appetizing! Good luck in the contest! I know I would eat this :)
It was a stretch, but I’m glad the farro risotto worked out! Thanks Vicki!
Great flavor combinations and I have to disagree, I don’t think this plate is ugly at all! It’s on my list of things to do soon to make risotto out of farro. I’m a fan of the grain, I love the texture and taste.
Your pictures are absolutely beautiful! I’ve never tried farro, but maybe I should. :)
Yummy! I made farro risotto for Easter. It’s my favorite grain.
Oh a nice change for Easter dinner! Thanks Dara.
Hi Carla – this looks great! I love the combination of beets, goat cheese and spinach. I’ve tried farro every other way but haven’t tried risotto. Coincidentally, though, I did order a farro risotto dish this past weekend and loved the creamy texture.
Your dish is far from ugly! :-) You can make anything beautiful!
(Btw…thanks for the mention!)
Thanks Amy! (and you’re welcome)
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Thank you so much!
I have been wanting to make Farro for months now and finally did last night :)
My family and I absolutely loved it!!
I ended up adding chopped cremini mushrooms to your recipe too.
Decided to add the goat cheese on top of each plate (for those who may not have wanted cheese)
Topped with chopped walnuts.
Love the addition of mushrooms! Glad you all enjoyed it for dinner.