Asparagus and Edamame Farro Risotto with Oyster Mushrooms and Poached Egg
This dish is a continuation of my ongoing ode to spring vegetables and it served as the perfect solution for a Sunday night vegetarian dinner party for Michelle and Emily, two of our dear friends. I was very excited to play with the idea of using farro for a new take on risotto that wasn’t gummy and had more textural interest. Farro is an Italian grain that is related to spelt and kamut, and it has a nutty flavor. You can find it in Italian grocery stores and gourmet stores like Whole Foods. In order to add a protein element, I topped the risotto with a poached egg and folded the edamame pods into the risotto with asparagus. I finished it with a few light shavings of aged Gouda cheese. This recipe is a variation from Chow.com, one of my favorite sources for interesting recipes. I served it with a Navarro Chenin Blanc that I brought back from our recent trip to the Anderson Valley in California. It had just enough acidity and a perfect green apple freshness to compliment the dish. There wasn’t anything left on the plates that came back into the kitchen after dinner so I think it was a hit. Enjoy!
Asparagus and Edamame Farro Risotto with Poached Egg and Oyster Mushrooms
Makes: 6 servingsINGREDIENTS:
1 cup dried farro
12 ounces asparagus, trimmed and sliced 1/2-inch thick on the bias (about 3 cups)
10 oz. bag frozen whole shelled edamame beans (about 1 heaping cup)
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium shallots, minced
2/3 cups dry white wine
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (about 1 packed teaspoon)
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
6 large eggs, poached
1 lb oyster mushrooms, trimmed
Parmesan or aged gouda to finish
1.Soak farro in cold water for 20 minutes, drain in a colander, and rinse well.
2.Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat, add farro, and simmer 20 minutes.
3.Drain farro, then cool it by rinsing under cold water; set aside.
4.Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
5.Clean the pot used to boil the farro and refill with more water, salt heavily, and bring to a boil over high heat.
6.Add asparagus and cook until it is just tender, about 3 minutes. Remove asparagus from water and shock with cold water to cool.
7.Return water to a boil and add shelled edamame; cook until tender but not soft, about 1 minute. Drain edamame and rinse under cold water until cool enough to touch.
8.Toss oyster mushrooms with 2 tblsp of olive oil, salt and pepper and spread out on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven until edges are slightly brown, about 25 minutes, tossing half way through. Remove from oven and keep warm until serving.
9.Have a pot with water and a tablespoon of vinegar ready to poach eggs in.
10.Get water simmering about halfway through stirring risotto (below).
11.Heat vegetable broth in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it comes to a simmer, then reduce heat to low so it is at a bare simmer while you prepare the risotto. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
12.When it shimmers, add shallots and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are softened but not browned, about 2 minutes.
13.Add cooked farro and stir to coat grains in oil; cook farro until outer coating of grain is glossy and a toasty aroma rises from the pot, about 3 minutes.
14.Add wine to the farro and stir until it has evaporated. Add a ladleful of warm broth and cook, stirring frequently, until farro has almost completely absorbed it, about 2 minutes.
15.Add another ladleful of broth and stir until almost all of it is absorbed. (Do not let the pan get dry—there should be a constant veil of stock over the farro at all times.) Continue adding ladlefuls of broth, stirring frequently and tasting regularly, until farro is tender but firm to the bite. The indentation in the farro grain will open and puff when completely cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes.
16.Remove the saucepan from heat and gently fold in asparagus, edamame, lemon zest, thyme, parsley, and butter. Taste and, if necessary, season with more salt and pepper. Turn off heat and cover to keep warm.
17.Poach 6 eggs in the simmering water. When they are done, remove with a slotted spoon.
18.To plate, scoop 1 cup of the risotto on a plate and top with the egg. Place the mushrooms along the edges and shave some parmesan or aged Gouda over top.