Slow Cooker Mushroom Farrotto with Gremolata 4 servings 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth (preferably homemade) 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms 1 pound cremini mushrooms, halved (or quartered if large) 1 1/2 cups whole farro 2 small or 1 large leek, white and green parts only, halved and thinly sliced 1 Parmesan rind plus 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving 2 bay leaves Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg Salt and black pepper, to taste 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces (the more you add, the richer it will taste) 1/2 cup parsley, minced 2 garlic cloves, minced 3 teaspoons lemon zest (about 3 lemons worth), minced

Slow Cooker Mushroom Farrotto

I’ve been experimenting with my slow cooker lately without much luck. I love the idea of slow cookers – that you can just set it, forget it, and dinner is just ready when you come home. And I love how slow cookers can make tough cuts of meat tender with almost zero effort. I just hadn’t found any vegetarian slow cooker recipes that wowed me up until now.

This mushroom farrotto originates from a non-vegetarian recipe from Real Simple that includes chicken thighs. The chicken sounds wonderful in this, but I wanted to make something that Matt and I could both enjoy. To amp up the flavor a bit (since I wasn’t cooking the farro under the chicken), I added some dried porcini mushrooms.

Slow Cooker Mushroom Farrotto

Other than the extra step of seeping and chopping the dried mushrooms, this recipe is truly a “set it and forget it” type of recipe. It combines farro, mushrooms, leeks, a Parmesan rind, bay leaf, and a pinch of nutmeg and cooks in a slow cooker for 3-4 hours. In the end, all you have to do is stir in some butter and freshly grated Parmesan (um, yes, please).

I truly didn’t know how it would turn out and I was sort of shocked when the texture actually mimicked real risotto. I’ve made farrotto in the past and, while I love them, they never turn out as creamy as a regular risotto. This slow cooker farrotto turns out incredibly creamy, but without being mushy. I think the benefits of the slow cooker in this recipe actually go beyond ease.

Slow Cooker Mushroom Farrotto

I felt like brightening up the flavor when I made this the second time around so I added one of my favorite toppers – gremolata. This mixture of fresh parsley, garlic, and lemon zest was the perfect contrast to the intense mushroom flavor. In Matt’s words, the gremolata was a “game changer.”

Let me know if you try it with chicken…or if you have any other vegetarian slow cooker recipes I should check out!

Slow Cooker Mushroom Farrotto with Gremolata

Yield: 4 servings

Slow Cooker Mushroom Farrotto with Gremolata

Adapted from Real Simple

Ingredients

    For the farroto:
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth (preferably homemade)
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, halved (or quartered if large)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole farro
  • 2 small or 1 large leek, white and green parts only, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 Parmesan rind plus 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces (the more you add, the richer it will taste)
  • For the gremolata:
  • 1/2 cup parsley, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 teaspoons lemon zest (about 3 lemons worth), minced

Instructions

  • Bring a cup of the vegetable broth to a boil and soak the dried porcinis in the hot broth for about 10 minutes. Drain the porcinis and reserve the soaking liquid. Finely chop the soaked mushrooms.
  • Combine the chopped porcinis, creminis, farro, leek, Parmesan rind, bay leaves, nutmeg, a generous pinch of salt, and a little bit of black pepper in a slow cooker. Pour in the porcini soaking liquid, being sure to not pour in any grit that may have settled to the bottom.
  • Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or until the farro is cooked but still retains some bite. If you are around while it is cooking, test for seasoning about halfway through and adjust as necessary.
  • At some point before serving, combine the gremolata ingredients and set aside.
  • When ready to serve, discard the Parmesan rind and bay leaf. Add the butter and grated Parmesan. Serve the farrotto with the gremolata and additional Parmsan sprinkled on top.
http://www.culinarycolleen.com/slow-cooker-mushroom-farrotto/
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  • Emily Chilton

    This looks so great! I find the slow cooker hit or miss. I think I’d take a dutch oven over my slow cooker any-day. I also feel guilty if my pups are smelling my dinner all day!

  • Michelle Lahey

    This looks and sounds SO good. I have a vegetarian chili recipe on my blog that cooks in the slow cooker, and it’s really easy and delicious – we seriously make it almost every weekend!

  • http://megan-deliciousdishings.blogspot.com/ Megan

    I love farro but have never thought to try putting it in the slow cooker. I love this idea!

  • Maria Tadic

    This looks so good! I’m always looking for a good grain to substitute in for abborio rice – something with more fiber. This is such a great substitute and it’s healthy! Can’t wait to try this!

  • Shannon G

    i need to get on the gremolata train! what a great, versatile topping :) this looks absolutely amazing, and in the slow cooker- can’t get any better

  • http://mysavoryspoon.blogspot.com/ cheri

    Love everything about this, what a great dish

  • Meghan

    This looks like the perfect comfort food.

  • http://www.quarterlifecrisiscuisine.com/ Ashley Bee

    Um, this looks incredible. I need to try more exotic risottos.

  • Anna Werner Mulvihill

    Why does the ingredient list 3 1/2 cups of broth, but you only use 1 cup of the broth to soak the dried mushrooms? Do you add in the rest of the broth later? I feel like I’m missing something…



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