Garlicky sautéed swiss chard, cashew cream, and vegan parmesan are woven throughout this comforting vegan parmesan farro risotto with garlicky greens.
This post is sponsored by Alessi Foods. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
Risotto is my go-to dish when aiming to impress a (small) crowd. This vegan parmesan farro risotto with garlicky greens is certainly no exception to that rule. It’s humble, requiring little more than about 20 minutes of dedicated stirring, yet the end results packs a real wow-factor.
This is a wintry twist on the risotto recipe I shared last spring and makes the perfect main for a festive dinner party or date night. Cashew cream and cashew “parmesan” are woven throughout nutty farro risotto. The risotto can hold its own but is made even more magical by the addition of garlicky greens. It’s comforting, luxuriously creamy, and packs a punch of fiber, vitamin K, iron, and protein.
To make it, you’ll start by preparing the cashew cream as well as the parmesan. For the cashew cream, you’ll add soaked cashews and filtered water to a high speed blender, blend until smooth, and set aside. For the parmesan, you’ll add raw cashews, nutritional yeast, and sea salt to a food processor, and pulse until the cashews are crushed.
Next, you’ll sauté chopped rainbow chard with garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. The greens cook up surprisingly quickly, requiring just five minutes from start to finish. The nourishing, garlicky punch of the greens complements the richness of the risotto and brings balance to the dish.
Although it might seem tempting to get to work on the risotto first and then multitask, it’s extremely important to first prepare the three aforementioned elements before starting the risotto. Risotto requires constant stirring and just a minute or two away from the stove can affect the outcome. Thus, it’s important to first prepare the other elements and then get to work on the risotto.
Sauté shallots and garlic in a bit of olive oil. Then, add one cup of Alessi Pearl Farro to the pan and gently toast the farro for a few minutes. Next, deglaze the pan by adding a half cup of dry white wine. Once the alcohol has simmered off, begin to add hot vegetable one ladleful at a time. Use figure-eight motions to stir the risotto constantly. Once the farro has absorbed most of the broth, add another ladleful.
Repeat the process until the farro is tender and creamy, using as much of the broth as needed (about 20 minutes).
Then, add the reserved cashew cream to the pan, and stir to incorporate.
Finally, add about half of the reserved cashew parmesan to the pan and stir well.
Divide the risotto and greens between plates or bowls, and finish with another sprinkle of cashew parmesan.
Serve warm and dig in.
Vegan Parmesan Farro Risotto with Garlicky Greens
- 1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes, drained
- 1/3 cup filtered water
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch rainbow chard, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large shallot, minced (about 1/3 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup Alessi Pearl Farro
- 1/2 cup room-temperature dry white wine
- 3/4 teaspoon to 1 sea salt or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Cashew Cream
- Add the cashews and filtered water to a high-speed blender, and blend on high until completely smooth and creamy. Place within reach of stove.
For the Cashew Parmesan
- Add the cashews, nutritional yeast, and sea salt to a small food processor, and process for 20 seconds, or until the mixture resembles finely grated parmesan cheese. Set within reach of the stove.
For the Garlicky Greens
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium-low in a large pan. Add the chard and cook for 2 minutes, or until just beginning to wilt. Then, add the garlic and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, or until the greens are tender and wilted, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and generously season with sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.
For the Farro Risotto
- Once both the cashew cream, parmesan, and greens are completely prepared, add the vegetable broth and water to a large stock pot over and heat over low heat until simmering. It’s important to keep the broth hot throughout the cooking process.
- Meanwhile, add the olive oil, shallots, and garlic to another large sauté pan and heat over low heat. Cook for 4 minutes, or until the shallots are just starting to turn translucent, stirring occasionally. From here on out, no straying from the stove. Risotto requires constant stirring and your complete and undivided attention. Throw on some energizing beats and let's get to it.
- Increase heat to medium-low and add the farro. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the grain is lightly toasted. Take your time with this step as it's important to break down the wall of the grain so that it can absorb liquid as it cooks.
- Add the white wine and cook for 2 minutes or until almost absorbed, stirring constantly.
- Increase the heat to medium, and use a ladle to add approximately ½ a cup of vegetable broth to the pan. Use figure-eight motions to stir the farro constantly as it absorbs the broth. When nearly all of the broth has been absorbed, add in another 1/2 cup of vegetable broth. Repeat this process, adding broth, stirring constantly, and never leaving the pan, until all of the broth has been used, or until the risotto is thick, creamy, and tender. You may not need to use all of the broth. This typically takes about 25 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the cashew cream and about 1/2 of the cashew parmesan. Then, season with the salt and black pepper, to taste. Divide the risotto and greens between bowls. Sprinkle with more parmesan if desired. Serve immediately.