Farro and fungi risotto

Farro and fungi risotto
Here's a plant-based spin on a traditional risotto recipe. Farro, a hearty grain that was a mainstay of the daily diet in ancient Rome, adds a nutty flavor and added fiber to the dish. This recipe calls for maitake and shiitake mushrooms, but you can swap those for other types of fungi if you prefer. Get stirring and enjoy!    

Servings: 4

Prep time: 30 minutes


  • 1 large or 2 small/medium (about 2 cups) leeks, white and light-green parts thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1//2 pound (about 1.5 cups) maitake mushrooms, torn into large fungi pieces
  • 1/2 pound (about 1.5 cups) shiitake mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic (about 2 tablespoons) finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound (about 1.5 cups) Italian farro or emmer wheat*
  • 3/4 cup vermouth or dry white wine
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth, simmering in pot on stove
  • Garnish: Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Begin by cooking Italian farro or emmer wheat*: simmer in boiling water until al dente 20 to 25 minutes, drain and set aside. For a faster meal use a bag of quick-cooking farro from Trader Joes. 
  2. Using a large wide-bottomed skillet or cast iron pan, water sauté leeks and garlic on medium heat for about 5 minutes, to prevent burning add 1 to 2 tbsp water once water is absorbed and repeat as necessary. 
  3. When leeks and garlic are soft and smelling fragrant, turn up the heat to high, add precooked farro or emmer wheat and vermouth or dry white wine (if no alcohol, use broth instead); stir to incorporate until absorbed. 
  4. Then, reduce heat to medium, add 1/2 cup hot vegetable broth, stirring often until absorbed, repeat two more times and then add torn maitake mushrooms and remaining broth, cover with lid for a few minutes after stirring to incorporate. 
  5. Lastly, gently incorporate shiitake mushrooms, cover with lid for three to four minutes to soften mushrooms. 
  6. Remove lid, stir to incorporate and serve on individual plates. Sprinkle a small amount of dried lemon salt and freshly ground black pepper on each portion.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 320
  • Total fat: 2.5 g
  • Saturated fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 120 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 55 g
  • Dietary fiber: 6 g
  • Total sugars: 6 g
  • Protein: 14 g

Does not include added salt.