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Farro risotto help!

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I'm planning to make a mushroom farro risotto for dinner party tonight and I've done my research on the net. Cooking times for farro are all over the place. Some would have you cook it for about 25-30 min. Some say you must par boil or start with already cooked farro before continuing with risotto. Some tell you to precook for 2 hrs. Which is it? How long does farro need to cook? Help.

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  1. The shorter times are for pearled farro - the equivalent of white rice. If more bran is left on the grains, cooking times will be longer (and benefit from a soaking time). I would work from the cooking time and method suggested on the package.

    1. It's hard to know: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/30/mag...

      I have had success with a pre-simmer of 30 minutes followed by the risotto technique (a ladleful of broth at a time until farro is tender).

      1 Reply
      1. re: drongo

        While that article stresses the difference between emmer and spelt, it ignores the issue of pearling (polishing). Grains like this from the bulk bins can take hours to cook. But I've also bought pearled wheat, from the Middle Eastern section of a grocery, that cooked in less than a hour.

      2. Agree with paulj, if it is perlato, you'll need less time. look at what the label says. 20 min appr. you need to be careful and start tasting it when you think it is about done. farro wants to keep its shape, better al dente. if you overcook it, the grains break and it becomes smooshy. best pot to cook farro is cast iron at low temperature. good luck!