Mushroom & Spinach Farro Risotto with Roasted Cauliflower

Risotto Bowl
One of our favorite restaurants is the Chilkoot Café and Cyclery in Stillwater, MN. A charming neighborhood café, in a delightful, historic small town neighborhood. By day, it’s an order at the counter, freshly-roasted coffee, local scratch-made comfort food, mouthwatering dessert, and wood floor cozy place. In the evenings, they bring out the linens and offer table service, with a diverse menu. A nice wine list and truly quality tap beers round things out. And per the name, there’s also a small customer-focused bicycle shop onsite.

The food is always outstanding and in a recent menu change, they added a mushroom & farro risotto with seasonal vegetables. I’ve had it several times, and it’s one of those restaurant dishes that you crave for days afterward. After both Pete and I had this risotto Friday night, I started thinking about making my own version. I had farro on hand and picked up mushrooms, spinach and cauliflower at the store and got to work. The end result was exceptional, with Pete saying it was one of the best recipes I’ve ever made. With that kind of praise, how could I not share?

Because this takes a bit of time, it’s a recipe more suited for a special weekend dinner, like Valentine’s Day, perhaps. It does fall on a Saturday this year! Enjoy!


Mushroom & Spinach Farro Risotto with Roasted Cauliflower

1 cup  farro, soaked in cool water for 1 hour, then drained

½ cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic minced, divided

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 ½ tablespoons butter, divided

1 ½ cup sliced cremini (baby portabella) mushrooms

A couple handfuls of spinach, chopped

¼ cup dry white wine

4-5 cups vegetable broth/stock

¼ cup grated parmesan

¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Roasted cauliflower (recipe follows)

1 teaspoon truffle oil

Salt & pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a cast iron or other heavy skillet. Add about 1 teaspoon butter. When melted, add half the garlic and the mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms release their liquid. Add spinach and cook until spinach wilts. Keep warm.

Heat broth/stock in a covered saucepan until simmering; then keep it at a simmer. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. When butter is melted, add onion and remaining garlic. Cook several minutes until onion starts to soften. Add drained farro and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the wine is absorbed. Add broth, 1 cup at a time, and cook, stirring occasionally until broth is absorbed before adding the next cup of broth. Continue until broth is gone and farro is cooked. Reduce heat to low and stir in parmesan until melted. Stir in chopped parsley. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add mushroom mixture and cauliflower. Drizzle with 1 tsp. truffle oil and stir. Serves two as a main course and 4 as a side dish.

Roasted Cauliflower

½ head cauliflower, cut into florets

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Salt & pepper, to taste.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Toss cauliflower, garlic, and lemon juice in bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt & pepper. Roast on baking sheet for 25-30 minutes, until edges are browned and caramelized.


One thought on “Mushroom & Spinach Farro Risotto with Roasted Cauliflower

  1. Pingback: Vegan Sweet Corn Farro Risotto | Finding my Inner Chef

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