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Farro with Winter Greens

(recipe, Caroline Lewis)

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For these last few months before the new spring vegetables are available and we’re tired of winter, here’s a delicious, risotto-like dish that uses over-wintering greens like chard, kale, or spinach.


  1. 1 qt. homemade chicken broth
  2. 4 oz. pancetta, cut into ¼-inch dice
  3. 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. ½ tsp. kosher salt
  6. ½ cup Pinot Grigio or other dry white wine
  7. 1 cup semiperlato farro, rinsed and drained
  8. 1 bunch Swiss chard, kale, spinach, or a mixture of greens
  9. 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  10. ½ lb. mushrooms, sliced
  11. 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


  1. In a saucepan, heat the chicken broth and keep it warm on a low flame.
  2. In a large, heavy casserole dish or pot on medium heat, sauté the pancetta until it is golden. Drain and discard the fat.
  3. In the same pot on medium heat, melt the butter and, when the foaming subsides, add the onion. Sprinkle with the salt, stir, cover, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until the onion is translucent and softened.
  4. Raise the heat to medium, add the farro, and cook and stir two minutes. Pour in the wine, stir, and cook until it is nearly evaporated. Then start adding the warm broth a ladleful (¾ cup) at a time, stirring after each addition and allowing the mixture to simmer down until it is nearly evaporated before adding more broth. Cook this way for about 20 minutes, or until the farro is quite chewy but not raw.
  5. Meanwhile, cut the ribs out of the chard leaves and set aside. Cut the larger leaf pieces in half lengthwise, stack eight or 10 leaves, and cut into ¼-inch slivers crosswise. Continue until all the chard is sliced, then set aside.
  6. Slice the chard stalks ¼-inch diagonally. In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, melt 1 Tbsp. butter and, when the foaming subsides, add the mushrooms and chard stalks. Adjust the heat to medium and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have colored a bit and the chard is tender-crisp. Set aside.
  7. Add another ladleful of broth to the farro and add the chard leaves and stalk-mushroom mixture. Stir well and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, another five to 10 minutes, or until the chard leaves are wilted and tender and most of the broth has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, stir in half the Parmesan cheese, and serve the farro in shallow bowls, passing the remaining cheese.