For this installment of "Dinner Smarter", I set out on a mission to create a one-pot, pressure cooker, vegetarian, whole-grain dinner, all using simple ingredients that can be found at a single grocery store. And oh boy, did I succeed.
This dish is basically the love child of cacio e pepe pasta and pressure cooker risotto, but made with farro, which is packed full of fiber, protein, minerals, and antioxidants. I love making cold salads with farro, but I wanted to make an entree entirely centered around the grain, versus using it as a side dish. I wanted to create a dish that turned the healthy, chewy grain into a decadent, but still very healthy, main dish.
Enter: Creamy Spinach Parmesan Farro. The farro naturally gets a creamy texture, like rice does when making risotto, when cooked in broth, so I didn't actually have to add any milk or cream. Score. What I did add was a pretty healthy handful of Parmesan cheese, which, on the scale of bad-for-you cheeses, actually ain't too bad for you. Fun fact: many lactose intolerant people can tolerate Parmesan cheese because of the way it is processed!
This dish is perfect for Meatless Monday, but if you're a meat-lover, I highly suggest throwing some shrimp over top and calling it a night.
Creamy Spinach Parmesan Farro
Serves 2 generously
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves
1 cup semi-pearled farro
2 cups low-sodium chicken or beef broth (I used beef broth and it was EXCELLENT!)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1 cup chopped spinach
Juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Turn your pressure cooker onto Sauté mode, then keep hitting the Sauté button until the display reads "Normal" for medium heat.
When the pot reads "HOT", add your butter.
Then throw in your diced onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and very soft. Stir in the garlic and farro and cook for 1 more minute to toast the farro a bit.
Stir in the broth. Seal the lid, make sure the pressure valve is set to Sealing, and cook on High pressure for 9 minutes.
Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes before releasing any remaining pressure and opening the pot.
Turn the pot to Sauté mode and stir frequently for a few minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. When just a bit of liquid remains, turn off the pot.
Stir in the cheese until totally melted.
Then just before you serve, stir in the spinach and lemon juice. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Enjoy a big bowl full of cheesy, delicious whole grain goodness!
If you want to see the recipe on a recipe page, we have it here: Creamy Spinach Parmesan Farro