Recipe: Purple Sprouting Broccoli Baked Farro Risotto

Purple Sprouting Broccoli Farro Risotto Bake

Veganuary-heartIt might have a tounge-twister of a title, but this is just the sort of juicy comfort-food supper with a crispy crust that is perfect for these freezing cold January (Veganuary!) evenings.

If you’re not familiar with Farro, you should be!  It’s a grain similar to pearl barley, but dried to become chewy and nutty when cooked, (rather than the more fluffy and spongy barley). The ancient Romans ate a lot of it, in the form of bread, porridge and soup before they got hold of wheat.  These days it is awfully trendy, and used in salads, soups, stews, and pasta dishes. 

It is available in most supermarkets, but if you can’t find any, pearl barley, risotto rice or even giant cous cous would also work really well here – the finished dish will have quite a different texture, but still be delicious!

The farro swells considerably when it cooks, soaking up the flavours of whatever liquid you cook it in.  I often cook this with veggie parmesan stirred through for that deep savoury flavour, but as it’s Veganuary I’ve used dried mushrooms and their soaking liquor for the same effect.  And it works so well – these plump little grains really are swollen with mushroomy loveliness.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli Farro Risotto BakeThis is one of those “chuck it all in the pan then bung it in the oven” sort of recipes, you can go and put your feet up for the majority of the 45 minute cooking time, whilst the kitchen gradually fills with tantalising smells.

10 minutes before cooking time is up, you remove the lid and scatter over a seedy breadcrumb crust tossed in olive oil, which crisps up and turns golden brown.

5 from 1 vote
Purple Sprouting Broccoli Farro Risotto Bake
Purple Sprouting Broccoli Farro Risotto Bake
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Course: Main
Author: Kate Ford | The Veg Space
  • 15 g dried mushrooms dried mixed mushrooms, portobello or porcini will all work well
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 onion peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 leek trimmed and finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
  • 200 g purple sprouting broccoli
  • 250 g farro
  • 750 ml vegetable stock
  • 40 g breadcrumbs
  • 30 g mixed seeds (I used pumpkin, sunflower & linseed)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  1. Pour boiling water over the dried mushrooms until just covered, then leave aside to soak. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
  2. In a large ovenproof casserole dish, heat the oil and gently cook the onion, leek and garlic for 3-4 minutes until soft. Whilst this is cooking, trim the ends from the broccoli, and slice the stalks diagonally into 2-3cm chunks.
  3. Remove the mushrooms from their soaking liquid, (don't tip it away!), chop them finely and add to the pan. Add the broccoli and farro and stir well to combine. Tip the mushroom soaking liquid into the pan, followed by the stock, and bring to the boil. Taste the broth, and season with salt and pepper as required.
  4. As soon as it has boiled, place the lid on your casserole dish, (or cover with foil if it doesn't have a lid), and place in the oven with a timer set for 25 minutes.
  5. In a bowl, toss together the breadcrumbs, seeds and olive oil. After 25 minutes, remove the lid (or foil) from the casserole dish, stir the farro then level off the top and scatter over the breadcrumb crust. Return to the oven for 10 minutes until the crust is golden brown and crispy.

Don’t forget to follow my progress through Veganuary via my Instagram feed!

Purple Sprouting Broccoli Baked Farro RisottoFor more ‘risottos’ without the rice, take a look at:

I’ve linked this recipe up with a number of blogging challenges:


  1. Love the look of this ! I’ve heard a lot about farro but didn’t really know where to begin with it. Now I’ve got the perfect recipe to try it with 😀 thanks for sharing and thanks for linking to my pearl barley risotto 🙂

  2. What a lovely vegan dish, and really comforting too. I love farro, but I don’t use it enough.

  3. Oh I love a chuck it in and bake in the oven recipe. This looks like it is really filling and tasty.
    Janice (@FarmersgirlCook) recently posted…Breakfast Burritos and Hungry, Healthy, Happy – a reviewMy Profile

  4. This looks fab – I love the seedy crust on top. Perfect winter food.
    Helen @ recently posted…Fabulously fruity recipes for Tu B’ShevatMy Profile

  5. What a lush and nutritious dish, I’ve never heard of Farro so look forward to finding out more! Thanks for entering #CreditCrunchMunch:-)
    Camilla @FabFood4All recently posted…Comment on Golden Syrup & Clotted Cream Croissant Pudding by CamillaMy Profile

  6. I have the same plates 🙂 great recipe, can not wait to try it, thanks! I am trying to eat healthier so your blog is perfect, happy I found you!

  7. Oh this looks fantastic! I have never thought to make a risotto with faro (which I love!) but I will certainly be trying this one. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  8. I have never cooked with farro before what an interesting ingredient.

  9. Looks and sounds delicious Kate! I’ve never cooked with farro before either xx
    Emily recently posted…48 hours in liverpool.My Profile

  10. I’ve not tried a baked risotto yet – what a great combination of flavours! I’m pinning this for future reference.
    Laura recently posted…Kitchen cupboard Kidney bean burgersMy Profile

  11. It sounds delicious. I love the sound of that crunchy breadcrumb topping on it. I’ve been meaning to try farro for quite a while but still haven’t got around to it. This is definitely something I’d enjoy though. Thank you so much for joining in with #CookOnceEatTwice.
    Corina recently posted…Kabocha Squash Stuffed with Black QuinoaMy Profile

  12. Farro is usually translated as SPELT. I use it a lot in Italy. …..lovely warming Zuppa di Farro in the winter.

  13. I love different grains and they make such good, and very easy risotto type dishes. Lovely vegan dish that just shows that you do not have to drench everything in cheese. Thanks for sharing with #ExtraVeg and #CreditCrunchMunch
    Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours recently posted…Fuss Free Nibbles – February 2016My Profile

Comments are closed.