Many of my go-to recipes change with the seasons. This farro risotto is quickly adapted to whatever vegetables are fresh and available. I picked up summer squash, a few ears of corn, and a most beautiful bouquet of red onions, at the farmers market to create this simple summer dish.
One of the best things about eating seasonally, besides the fact that fresh food tastes better and is better for you, is that seasonal foods are much cheaper. Because the produce is more readily available and has a shorter shelf life, the price goes down. The food isn’t having to be shipped from another climate to get to your dinner table so all of the price for transporting the food is eliminated. When it’s not squash season around Utah, the squash you see at the market is probably coming from further away, thus its also less fresh, tastes more bland, and costs more to import. This is why fresh is best and local is even better.
Something I don’t talk about much on this blog… I’m cheap. It’s something I’m dealing with but I like to shop the sales, get a good deal, and save money wherever possible. Eating seasonally helps with this, so does making use of whatever is in your fridge. While many families have a ‘clean out the fridge’ meal every few weeks or so, sometimes I feel like every night is a clean out the fridge kind of meal. I have to get a little creative sometimes but I try to use what ingredients I already have on hand before I hit the store and I often plan my meals around what we have or what’s on sale (or in season). Sometimes our meals turn out amazing and other times, I put an egg on top or some cheese and it’s easily recovered 🙂
One of my favorite books that talks in depth about this philosphy of eating simply and cheaply with what you have on hand is Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler. My copy is dogeared, highlighted and scribbled on. I’ve passed it along to my closest girl friends who’ve devoured it as well (and joked with me about my silly notes in the margins). But I would recommend it to everyone looking to eat well on a budget.
Try this farro risotto with whatever vegetables you can find cheaply at your market or with some you already have in your fridge!
Farro risotto topped with summer squash and corn.
- 1 1/2 cups farro
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 yellow squash
- 2 corn cobs, kernels removed
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped or sliced
- 2 sprigs of thyme (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
- 1/4 cup parmesan (optional
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- As oven is heating up, remove corn kernels from the cob. I usually do this by placing a small bowl upside down inside a larger one then propping the corn up vertically on the small bowl I run a sharp knife down the edge of the corn letting the kernels spill into the larger bowl beneath.
- Slice the squash and the red onion. Then, toss the squash, onion, and corn in the oil and season with thyme, salt and pepper (1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Spread this out onto a foil lined baking sheet and roast for 20--25 minutes or until squash is starting to brown.
- While veggies are roasting, heat up a drizzle of oil in a medium pot. Add farro and toast, just slightly, about 1-2 minutes. Add in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook, covered for about 25 minutes or until almost all of the liquid is absorbed and the farro grain is chewy.
- When the farro is done, add in the white wine and parmesan (if you're choosing to use those). Then, transfer farro to individual plates or to a serving dish. Top with vegetables and extra parmesan or thyme.
I’m usually pretty good with using what I have but lately I’ve been so bad with my food spendings. I need to checkout that book. Also, yum on the chewy farro! 🙂