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Ancient Grains "Risotto" Style, for Summer

This is an awesome recipe using a delicious and healthy grain, emmer (farro), and seasonal summer vegetables. Michel Nischan (James Beard award winning chef) prepared this recipe at the 2011 Food and Wine Classic in Aspen, CO in June.

Ingredients

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup uncooked emmer
2 cups good vegetable stock
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 large zucchini, diced
3/4 cup fresh sweet corn kernels
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup heirloom beans (or canned organic)
4 ounces ricotta
4 squash blossoms
Freshly snipped herbs

1. In a large, deep saute pan, heat half of the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the Emmer and saute for 2-3 minutes.

2. Pour the stock into the saute pan and stir the emmer and onions frequently for the next 40-50 minutes, at which time the emmer should be tender and the stock evaporated. Add more stock if needed during the cooking to keep the emmer moist.

3. In another large saute pan, heat the remaining oilive oil and when hot, saute the zucchini and corn kernels for 10-12 minutes until browned. Add the tomatoes and heat for 1 minute to warm through. Add the emmer and the cooked beans and toss to mix. Add the butter and stir until melted and the beans are hot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. In a mixing bowl, whisk the ricotta to soften it. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Using a small spoon, gently stuff the squash blossoms with the cheese.

5. Spoon the emmer onto the plates and garnish with the stuffed squash blossoms and fresh herbs.

4 servings
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