August 9, 2011

Roasted Beet Farrotto II

I think this recipe is one of my favorite finds of 2011 (so far). Longtime readers will remember I first had this dish at Babbo during my NYC birthday trip in March. Then I recreated it at home about a week later. It can certainly be considered a winter dish, but after the last couple of days I have had, all I wanted was to spend some time in the kitchen and create something warm, hearty and comforting. The first thing that came to mind was this farrotto.

I decided to add an onion to the recipe seeing as the farm my CSA is from is having a "bumper crop" of onions this year and I have a ton lying around the kitchen. My original recipe is here and my updated recipe is below.

Roasted Beet Farrotto II
Adapted from myself and Mario Batali


12 oz baby beets, peeled and diced (I used what my CSA gave me, but you could obviously use regular size beets and I think a full pound would work well)
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 1/2 cups farro (I felt like the proportion of beets to farro was a little off. If you use a full pound of beets, then this should be the correct amount of farro; if you have less, like I did, I would recommend decreasing the farro to 1 1/4 cups or even 1 cup.)
1 large onion, diced
1/2 to 3/4 cup vegetable stock (The original recipe calls for chicken stock, but I had veggie stock open in the fridge, so I wanted to use it up. And now the recipe is vegetarian!)
Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Toss the beets with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with pomegranate molasses. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, bring three cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan and add one teaspoon of salt. Cook the farro in boiling water until tender, but not fully cooked, about 14 minutes. Drain the farro and set aside.

4. While the farro is cooking, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat (I meant to use butter, but absentmindedly used the olive oil that was already sitting on the counter). Add the onion, some salt and pepper, and cook until soft, 5-8 minutes. Add the cooked farro, the veggie stock (start with 1/2 cup) and the beets to the onion and cook over high heat until the farro has finished cooking, about 2-3 minutes. Add more stock if the mixture gets too dry or the farro has not completed cooking when all the stock is absorbed. Remove from the heat, mix in some cheese and taste for seasoning. Serve warm with additional cheese.

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