| | | |

Pea & Leek Greens Farro Risotto

This pea and leek greens farro risotto is a delicious way to reduce food waste and also make something new. It’s dairy-free, vegan, and is made with just a few simple and fresh ingredients.

I was making braised leeks and saw how much of the vegetable was still leftover. I knew I wanted to use the greens but wasn’t sure how. They’re a little too tough to eat raw, but when cooked they become soft and slightly caramelized with a delicate onion flavor.

Many recipes use the white (and light green) part of the leek and say to discard the green stalks. Leek greens take up at least half of the leek, so this is pretty much like throwing your money straight in the trash.

The horror.

I was determined to make something with what I already had. I knew there was farro in my pantry and peas in the freezer. I’d never made farro risotto (sometimes called farrotto) before, but I knew it was a thing.

The light bulb went off and this dish is the outcome.

Ingredients

  • leek greens. Leek greens taste slightly sweet when cooked, but also have a really nice savory/umami flavor.
  • peas (fresh or frozen). The peas add texture, plant-based protein, and color.
  • butter (dairy-free or regular). This is what the leeks bathe in to achieve that caramelly goodness.
  • farro. Farro is an ancient grain (contains gluten) with a chewier texture and nuttier flavor than arborio rice, which is what’s used in traditional risottos.
  • broth (chicken or vegetable). The broth is what the farro cooks in and absorbs all of its flavors.
  • lemon juice. The lemon juice adds brightness.
  • salt & pepper.
  • optional cheese of choice for topping. Homemade dairy-free ricotta would be really nice mixed in but it’s also great without anything added.

How to Make Pea & Leek Greens Farro Risotto

Trim and wash the leeks. Trim off the leek greens and thoroughly wash them by submerging them in a bowl of cold water and peeling through the layers to remove the dirt and grit.

Cut the leeks. Slice the leek greens and trim off any brown spots or slimy leaves and discard. Set aside the sliced leeks. (It’ll look like a lot, but they lose a lot of volume when they cook. See photos below.)

Caramelize the leek greens. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Once warm, add 2 tablespoons of the butter and add the sliced leeks. Cook, stirring occasionally. When starting to soften, season with a pinch of salt, and continue to cook until they’re wilted and starting to brown/slightly caramelize.

Warm the peas. Remove the cooked leek greens from the pan and add the fresh or frozen peas. Cook for a few minutes until soft, while still retaining their bright green hue. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Cook the farro. Add the farro and let toast in the pan for 1-2 minutes. Now add the broth in one cup increments until the farro has absorbed all of the liquid before adding another cup and so on. Continue to stir occasionally until the broth is all used up.

Season & eat. Once the farro is cooked, add back in the peas and leek greens with the last tablespoon of butter. Squeeze the juice of half of a lemon over the top and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Add cheese if you want and stir it all together before serving.

Make It Your Way: Ingredient Substitutions

Please remember that recipes are meant to be used as guides.

How can you make this leek greens risotto using what you already have? Here are some ideas

  • No peas? ➝ You can also use corn (super easy if you have some stashed in your freezer), carrots, fennel, or mushrooms.
  • No butter? ➝ Olive oil is also a great option.
  • No lemons? ➝ You can also use lime juice or a splash of vinegar such as white wine or champagne.
  • Eat gluten-free? ➝ Make traditional risotto and easily add the peas and leek greens to it.

Other Ways to Enjoy Leek Greens

Leek greens aren’t just for adding to risotto though, they’re also a great flavor booster to keep in the fridge. You can:

Pea & Leek Greens Farro Risotto

5 from 5 votes
pan of pea and leek greens risotto
This easy-to-make, plant-based pea and leek greens farro risotto is a delicious way to reduce food waste and also make something new.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Serving Size 4

Ingredients
 

  • leek greens (from 3 leeks) see notes
  • 1 cup peas
  • 3 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 cup farro
  • cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Trim off the leek greens and thoroughly wash them by submerging them in a bowl of cold water and peeling through the layers to remove the dirt and grit.
  • Slice the leek greens and trim off any brown spots or slimy leaves and discard. Set aside the sliced leeks. (It'll look like a lot, but they lose a lot of volume when they cook.)
  • Heat a large pan over medium heat. Once warm, add 2 tablespoons of the butter and add the sliced leeks. Cook, stirring occasionally. When starting to soften, season with a pinch of salt, and continue to cook until they're wilted and starting to brown/slightly caramelize.
  • Remove the cooked leek greens from the pan and add the fresh or frozen peas. Cook for a few minutes until soft, while still retaining their bright green hue. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the farro and let toast in the pan for 1-2 minutes. Now add the broth in one cup increments until the farro has absorbed all of the liquid before adding another cup and so on. Continue to stir occasionally until the broth is all used up.
  • Now, add back in the cooked peas and leek greens with the last tablespoon of butter. Squeeze the juice of half of a lemon over the top and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Add cheese if you want and stir it all together before serving

Notes

  • The cooked leek greens equal about 1 heaping cup, but it doesn’t need to be exact. 
  • This recipe serves about 4-6.
5 from 5 votes (5 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating