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Barley + Farro Risotto

This dish would have been impossible for me as a child equipped with a lisp and inability to pronounce my “r” sound correctly. Thankfully I’ve mostly outgrown that temporary disability and now only relive it through home videos. My favorite, of course, being the vignette featuring me reciting scripture (Bible vuhthes – or verses, for those unfamiliar with impediment speak) while spinning around and flapping my wet paper towels around (in case it’s gone unmentioned around here, my longstanding favorite toy was a “wet washcloth,” pronounced “woffquaff,” which was simply a moist paper towel. In any event, bahley and fawwo withotto, as this would be called, would have been best left untouched. And in case, you too, deal with speech struggles, just label this “dinner.”
RisottoBarley + Farro Risotto
2 c. uncooked, dry barley
2 c. uncooked, dry farro
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 cherry (or peppadew) peppers, chopped (and some reserved oil)
3/4 c. white wine
4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups butternut squash, roasted
3 parsnips, chopped and roasted
1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

In a large, heavy skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and salt and pepper. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the dry farro and barley and stir to toast 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and stir until it has evaporated. Add the stock one cup at a time, stirring frequently until each cup has evaporated or cooked into the grains. Add more salt and pepper, if desired. Stir in roasted squash and parsnips. Stir in parmesan and stir until melted and creamy. Serve warm.

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