Ari’s Holiday Greetings and Chef Sue’s Mushroom Farro Risotto
Ready, set, slow down
Well, the holiday season is here. Out there folks are hustling around, getting the shopping done for loved ones, trimming the tree, visiting with friends and family. I confess, I love this time of year and still feel like a kid each time it rolls around. For me, and I suspect for many of you, the chance to spend a little more time with my family is the big attraction. I am always happiest when my family, now scattered around a bit, are all back home- all of us in one place, laughing, catching up, and generally enjoying each other’s company.
Could we be any luckier? We live in a picture postcard of a place. Everywhere you look reinforces the general vibe- relaxed, laid back and calm, cozy; a perfect low-key sort of place. A place for hanging out in front of one of the wood-burning fire and playing some games, making s’mores, doing a puzzle. Enjoying each other.
Can you imagine a better place to spend time with your family? I certainly can’t. There are still a few rooms left for the holiday season and, in general, some great packages to lure you to our door this winter. Take a break and come see us.
From the Kitchen:
Mushroom Farro Risotto with Spinach, Truffled Pecorino, and Grilled Cauliflower
Serves 4 as a main course
For the farro:
4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
3/4 # mixed mushrooms, such as black trumpet, crimini, oyster and porcini, trimmed and sliced 1/2” thick
1/2 onion, diced small
1 leek, washed and diced small, white and pale green parts only
2 cups farro
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 qt vegetable stock or chicken stock
3 TBS unsalted butter
3 oz truffled pecorino, divided with half finely grated
Bring the vegetable stock to a simmer. In a sauce pan heat half the olive oil and gently cook the diced onion and leek, being careful not to let it brown.
In a sauté pan, heat the remaining olive oil and sauté the mushrooms over medium high heat, letting them get a nice golden brown. Set aside in the sauté pan. When the onions are soft add the farro to the pan, turning up the heat and stir the farro to to coat the grains for 1 or 2 minutes.
When quite hot add the wine, lower the heat a bit and stir while the wine reduces. When there is very little liquid left add about a cup of the simmering stock, season with salt and stir. When most of the stock is absorbed add another cup or so of stock. Continue on in this manner as you would for risotto. When you are left with 1 or 2 cups of stock, put the mushroom pan back on the heat, deglaze the pan with a little of the stock and add the mushrooms to the farro. When the farro is tender finish the dish by stirring in the butter and grated pecorino.
Adjust the seasoning if needed, divide among 4 bowls and using a vegetable peeler shave strips of the pecorino over the top of each dish. Garnish with the roasted cauliflower.
For the Cauliflower:
1 head cauliflower
1 tsp toasted ground caraway seed
salt to taste
2-3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375°
Cut the core out of the cauliflower and slice the cauliflower into 3/4” slices. Toss in a bowl with the caraway, salt and olive oil. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast until tender with the edges getting a little crispy and brown, about 20 minutes.