Farro and Millet Risotto Recipe

A few behind-the-scenes shots from the Whole Living magazine photo shoot. And a simple Farro & Millet Risotto that is easily adaptable based on what is in season.

Farro and Millet Risotto

A good number of you emailed after seeing the profile of me in the May issue of Whole Living Magazine. Crazy, right? It ended up being eight pages(!), and highlighted a bunch of recipes from Super Natural Every Day. I thought I'd tell you a bit about how it came together, and share a few behind-the-scenes shots. On the recipe front, I'm tacking on a recipe for a Farro & Millet Risotto I've been making quite a bit lately as we try to close the door on winter this year - the weather hasn't entirely cooperated. You can use whatever fresh or roasted vegetables you like - asparagus, peas, and herbs are great this time of year. But I was making it with roasted delicata or other little squashes until recently.

Farro Millet Risotto Recipe

So - Whole Living. The story was shot by John Kernick, who I've admired from a far for a long time. He shot a lot of memorable feature articles for Gourmet Magazine that I'm sure you remember.

Truth be told, I was a little nervous about hosting a seven-person crew here. As most of you know, our apartment isn't very large, and I wasn't sure about how it was going to go down. But, ever onwards. The Whole Living crew based themselves for the better part of three days here - we hung out, cooked, went on little excursions, and took pictures. They were all super mellow, funny, talented, and in the end I was genuinely sad to see them go! Wayne popped off a few photos in the midst of everything, up above. :) I'll just go on the record as saying, thank god it didn't rain. The light was nice for most of it and we were even able shoot outside - mid-January. As far as the food was concerned, I've always appreciated the recipes featured in Whole Living - they're, so often, right up my alley. How lucky was I to have food editor Shira Bocar here for the shoot? She has a beautiful touch with food, and I loved seeing her take on my recipes. Hope we get to cook together again soon, Shira. :)

So, thank you John and Darrell, and Jamie, and lovely Lucy. And Lindsay for the article itself. And Rachel, and Maria, and Erika, and Dawn, and Sari, and Alex. Its not everyday one gets to be featured in one of their favorite magazines.

Farro Millet Risotto Recipe

Today's risotto is winter/spring adaptation, and distant cousin, of the Zucchini and Millet Risotto in the Rose Bakery cookbook - which we've been cooking from quite a bit over the past couple of months. It hadn't occurred to me to use millet in risotto until I tried it here, but it actually lends a nice creamy, porridge-like texture. I use farro or barley instead of rice as the base, and trick it out with whatever looks good at the market. You can do lots of fun things with the leftovers as well - fashion the day-after, cold risotto into arancini and pan-fry them. I even thin leftovers out with broth, add some beans and greens and make a soup of it. Give it a try!

Other news: I hope to see some of you in Portland and Seattle this weekend! It's going to be a whirlwind, and I'll be there for a handful of signings. Kim Boyce and I will be at The Cleaners @ The Ace Hotel on Friday night. I'll also be signing/selling books at The Remodelista Local Seattle Market on Saturday, April 30th, from 11am to 4pm. And later that evening alongside Lara Ferroni at Spare Room. Detailed info about each event is also here.

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Farro & Millet Risotto

HS: I used farro here, but you can certainly swap in pearl barley as an alternative.

3/4 cup / / 5 oz / 150 g uncooked millet
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
fine grain sea salt
1/4 cup / 2 oz / 55 g unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, smashed and chopped
2 cups / 14 oz / 400 g semi-pearled farro
roughly 7 cups / 1.6 l good-tasting vegetable broth
2 big handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan

Add-ins: When delicata squash as still in season - I cube and roast it to top this risotto. In the photo above you'll also see I used some chopped chives and a generous drizzle of curried brown butter made from simply adding a bit of curry powder to a skillet of butter I'd browned over medium heat. But now that we are smack in the middle of spring, I've been trading out the squash for chopped asparagus and whole peas - adding them to the pot in the last few minutes.

It works best to cook the millet and farro separately here. Start by adding the millet to a small thick-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Toast it, stirring constantly, until the millet is golden and fragrant - just a few minutes. Add 1 3/4 cup / 475 ml water, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and a couple generous pinches of salt. Stir, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the grains are cooked and free of liquid. Taste, and if they need more time, cook for a few minutes more, then remove from heat, and leave covered for another 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and set aside.

In the meantime, get the farro started in a separate large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the remaining oil, butter, onions and a big pinch of salt. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic, and cook for a couple minutes more. Add the farro and cook for a couple minutes before adding 2 cups of the broth. Cook, stirring, until the farro has absorbed most of the liquid before adding another cup. Keep adding stock in increments like this until the farro is cooked through - it takes some time. Once it's cooked, stir in half the millet. Add more broth if needed, the risotto should be loose. Decide whether or not you want to add the remaining millet - it's a personal preference really. The millet makes the risotto take on a more porridge-like texture. Now stir in most of the Parmesan. Taste, and adjust the seasoning. Add more broth if needed - again, you want the texture to be loose and creamy. A spoon should not be able to stand up straight in the risotto.

Serve hot, in bowls topped with the remaining Parmesan, and whatever else you like. In this instance I added some leftover roasted delicata squash {not pictured), a drizzle of curried brown butter, and chopped chives. But some toasted nut oil and chopped herbs might be a nice alternative, or even a swirl of harissa and toasted almonds....

Serves 6-8.

Prep time: 5 minutes - Cook time: 30 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Congrats! You deserve the recognition!


I made your last Farro recipe for a group of friends that came over to scrapbook. It was wonderful. Lots of compliments. So, I can't wait to try this one too.


This looks scrumptious. I have made risotto with pearled spelt, butter, shallots, vegetable broth, soft goat cheese and parmesan. It was fabulous.


I was so so pscyhed to open up my copy of Whole Living and see you! Congrats! Truly awesome! One of their best 8 pages yet! Keep up the great work. Your avid reader and fan, Sasha Rose


I just recieved your cookbook in the mail from Amazon, and only 5 minutes in, I already know this will be my new go-to favorite. Thank you so much for the inspiration and for making whole, natural eating accessible, while remaining "un-preachy"!


Hey Heidi: wanted to tell you with pride that I was able to order and get cataloged 5 copies of your newest published baby-Super Natural Everyday- at my work library. The Colts Neck Public Library houses a special collection of over 4000 titles of Cooking books. It was a happy moment at work.. The next happy moment would be when you will honor our patrons and us with an author talk at the Library. Do you plan a visit to East Coast? Could you please work out something, we work on a small budget though.


I love farro and I love the Ace hotel. I used to make the former in a cold salad with scallions and diced raw vegetables and even some dried cherries. As for the Ace.... make sure you snap some shots of yourself in the photo booth! I still smile every time I see mine.

Georgia Pellegrini

Love this post; the risotto looks fabulous, Heidi and the pictures are beautiful!

The Healthy Apple

The risotto looks so creamy and decadent. I'll have to give it a try! Photo shoot looks like tons of fun! :) Congratulations on all the great press!

Jen @ keepitsimplefoods

So simple, but the photo is divine. Elegant simplicity!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

This looks iike something that I'd love. On Foodbuzz, I saw oatmeal with olive oil. It reminds me of that!

A Teenage Gourmet

Sounds like a fantastic few days! You totally deserve the number of pages they gave you! Risotto I haven't had in a while, so it's definitely bookmarked!


My two FAVORITE grains. This is outstanding. I love how rich + creamy it looks. Amazing! :)


ooooh, the drizzle of brown butter does it for me! I was actually looking at your barley risotto all day and then this popped up! I've got all 3 grains on hand so maybe this weekend I'll try a version or two. This one does look delicious. And if you make it 2 hours north to Vancouver, please let us Canadians know!


You're on such a fun journey. Squash in risotto gives me so many ideas. Congratulations on your Whole Living debut - very cool!

Niki (of SI)

Heidi - thanks for sharing a little backstory and behind the scenes photos from the "Whole Living" event. This was almost as much fun as viewing the article!


I love delicata squash but I have never seen it at market. I am growing it myself this year:)

Honestly Good Food

I really enjoyed the feature on you in Whole Living Magazine- it does seem like the perfect place to find you! So excited to see this recipe because I've devoted the whole week to FARRO at my blog!


It's so nice to see that risotto can be made sumptuous and luxuriously rich with all vegetarian ingredients. I love the idea of a curry-spiked brown butter on top, so clever!

Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks

Congratulations on Saveur Magazine's nominee for Best Food Blog! How exciting but I see you are also doing fabulous things with this magazine. The risotto looks so delicious and healthy. Wonderful work and an inspiration to all of bloggers out here!

Snippets of Thyme

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