Farro and Asparagus Risotto Recipe

A risotto for springtime, with a bit more bite.
Photo by Heami Lee

Servings: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes


1 cup|200 grams farro
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 10 ounces|300 grams)
7 cups|1700 ml chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium fennel bulb, diced, fronds reserved
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup|125 ml Pernod
1 cup|100 grams grated parmesan, divided
2 ounces|65 grams prosciutto, thinly sliced, if desired


  1. Place the farro in a large bowl and cover with 4 cups|946 ml water. Let soak for 30 minutes, then drain.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the asparagus. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until tender, 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the asparagus to a bowl of ice water.
  3. Heat the chicken stock in a small saucepan. Keep warm over low.
  4. Heat the olive oil in the large saucepan over medium-high. Add the fennel and onion and cook until soft, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more, then add the farro and cook until toasted, about 3 minutes. Deglaze with the Pernod and cook until it has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add ½ cup|125 ml of chicken stock and stir constantly until all the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding stock ½ cup|125 ml at a time until the farro is cooked through and the risotto is creamy, about 35 minutes. Stir in the asparagus and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in half of the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with prosciutto (if you’re into that kinda thing) and the remaining parmesan. Oh, and also the fennel fronds, duh.

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