You won’t be able to stop eating this amazing risotto. The flavors are so rich and the farro adds an enticing texture. Use as main dish or serve alongside a savory steak.
Soak farro in warm water for 15 minutes while preparing remainder of ingredients. In a separate bowl, add 2 cups boiling water to the dried mushrooms, set aside to steep.
To prepare the leeks, cut off top half and discard. Half the remainder and rinse. Thinly slice one leek, place in small bowl. The other leek slice into 1 1/2 – 2” thin matchstick pieces. This will be your crispy topping. Prepare fresh mushrooms - clean and slice. Prepare shallots, garlic, thyme and lemon zest - set aside in small bowls.
Remove dried mushrooms from water, chop and place in a small bowl. Reserve the liquid for the risotto. In a small saucepan, warm 3 cups of vegetable broth. Drain farro and place in a bowl.
In a dutch oven or large skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. When hot, add shallots, thinly sliced leeks and a pinch of salt, cook for 3-4 minutes. Add fresh mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook for 2-4 minutes or until mushrooms are done. Place half of this mixture in a bowl and set aside. Add farro to the remaining mushroom mixture in the pan and cook for a few minutes to toast it. Deglaze pan with wine, cook until evaporated. Add the dried mushroom broth and 2 cups of warm vegetable broth, continue to cook and stir occasionally. Add more broth if needed until farro is al dente. Add lemon zest, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and 1 T butter. Stir in dried mushroom mixture, cook a few more minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Farro mixture should be soft and loose, add more broth if needed. Serve topped with crispy shallots and more parmesan cheese.
Crispy Leek Topping - While farro is cooking, heat a medium skillet with 1-2 T olive oil. When oil is hot, fry the matchstick leeks until crispy. Do this in 2 batches if needed, so you don’t crowd the pan. Set aside on paper towel and lightly salt.