Farro has had something of a moment lately, becoming a favorite grain of chefs and home cooks alike for its nutty flavor, addictively chewy texture, and high fiber content. Here, we’re nodding to its place in Italian cuisine (it has a history there that goes back to Roman times) by treating it like a risotto and filling it out with bright lemon, crunchy walnuts, and green veggies prepared two ways.
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Veggie Stock Concentrate
Wash and dry all produce. In a medium pot, combine farro, stock concentrates, and 3½ cups water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, 30-35 minutes total. TIP: If water evaporates before farro is cooked, add a splash more.
Wash and dry all produce. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Trim and discard bottom inch of asparagus. Cut off fuzzy tips and set aside. Chop stalks into ½-inch pieces. Thinly slice zucchini into rounds. Mince or grate garlic. Halve, peel, and finely dice onion. Zest, then halve lemon.
On a baking sheet, toss asparagus tips, zucchini, and a large drizzle of olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast in oven until nicely browned, 15-20 minutes, tossing halfway through.
Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, tossing frequently, until soft and translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, tossing, until fragrant, another minute.
Stir asparagus stalk pieces into pot with farro about 5 minutes before farro is done (grains should be just shy of al dente). Drain once both are tender. Add to pan with onion and garlic, then stir in juice of one lemon half, half the lemon zest, half the Parmesan, and 1 TBSP butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide farro mixture between bowls. Top with zucchini and asparagus tips. Sprinkle with remaining lemon zest, walnuts, and remaining Parmesan.