The secret to the toothsome texture of this whole-grain “risotto” is sunflower seeds. The asparagus offers a fresh snap that keeps the dish feeling springy and light, and a single slice of crisped prosciutto on top of each serving proves that a little is just enough.

Also appeared in: Health, March, 2020


Credit: Greg DuPree

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Serves 6


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place stock and 2 cups water in a large saucepan over medium; cover and let come to a simmer. Adjust heat to maintain simmer.

  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add leeks, thyme, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Add sunflower seeds and farro, and cook, stirring often, until seeds and farro are toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in wine, bring to a boil, and cook until wine is almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.

  • Stir salt and 2 cups of the simmering stock mixture into farro mixture, and bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. Add 5 more cups of the simmering stock mixture in 4 additions, 1 1/4 cups at a time, stirring often until farro is very tender and liquid is mostly absorbed after each addition, another 15 to 20 minutes. Add asparagus and remaining 1 cup simmering stock mixture, and cook until asparagus is tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in Parmesan and pepper.

  • Place prosciutto slices between paper towels on a microwavable plate. Microwave on High until crisp, about 2 minutes, stopping at 30-second intervals after 1 minute to check doneness. Break prosciutto slices in half or crumble. Top each serving evenly with prosciutto, and sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

354 calories; fat 18g; saturated fat 3g; cholesterol 15mg; fiber 6g; protein 19g; carbohydrates 33g; sugars 4g; sodium 765mg; iron 3mg; calcium 105mg.