Friday, May 15, 2015

Farro "Risotto" with Cannellini Beans and Kale plus a Giveaway #VegFlavorBible

Farro "Risotto" with Cannellini Beans and Kale #VegFlavorBible

Meet Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, creators of the critically acclaimed book The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, which has been cited as one of the five best cookbooks of 2014 based on 300+ reviews in media including Bloomberg, The Chicago Tribune, Food & Wine, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.

They are not only the two-time James Beard Award Winning authors of The Flavor Bible and Becoming a Chef, but also coauthored What to Drink with What You Eat, which was named the IACP Cookbook of the Year and the Georges Duboeuf Wine Book of the Year, while also winning a Gourmand World Cookbook Award.

It goes without saying that Karen’s credentials are exemplary. In addition to holding degrees from Northwestern and Harvard, she earned a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell, so it is little wonder that critics are praising her invaluable knowledge and contribution to a healthier and more flavorful approach to food and nutrition!

Karen and Andrew are teaming up with 9 food bloggers to be able to reach out further and share their knowledge and talents with an even greater audience. They have offered to partner in a giveaway in order to educate and make accessible not only their latest creation, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, but also copies of The Flavor Bible and What to Drink with What You Eat! ALL of these resources are treasures that would grace the presence of any home cook’s library, but already hold places of reverence within the commercial kitchens of many chefs.

If you've been reading this website for any length of time, the opening phrase "meet Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg" is a little ridiculous. I have been using my copy of The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg before Crazy Foodie Stunts ever existed, so you can imagine my excitement when I was presented with the opportunity to work with them. You could even call me a fan.

Last autumn, Karen and Andrew published a follow-up to The Flavor Bible titled The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. Ms. Page uses the same format to the earlier version, but the similarities end there. Before reading it, I must admit that I did not realize the topic of vegetarianism was so expansive. In the first 90 or so pages, Karen discusses the reasons behind consuming solely a plant-based diet and puts them in a historical context, demonstrates how to fulfill your body's protein needs with a vegetarian diet, reviews the concept of flavor (which was discussed in the first book), provides plant substitutes for animal-based foods, and examines sample vegetarian tasting menus from well known restaurants as Eleven Madison Park and The Inn at Little Washington. In addition, the reference section of the book contains more detail than the original and now includes a color code that indicates the nutrient content, a description, health benefits, vitamin and/or mineral content, gluten specificity, protein content botanical relatives and possible substitutes in many of the ingredients.

So what exactly is occurring here? Well, I am one of nine bloggers that have teamed with Karen and Andrew to promote The Vegetarian Flavor Bible by hosting a giveaway for one copy of it in addition to The Flavor Bible and What to Drink with What You Eat. In the interest of full disclosure, this giveaway is sponsored by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg in addition to their publisher, Little, Brown & Company and I was compensated by product, however all opinions are my own. Each participant was to prepare a dish inspired by one of the flavor pairing suggestions listed with everyone choosing a different ingredient. Details of the giveaway below.

Inspiration Behind the Dish

You might remember a dessert I published shortly after Valentine's Day last year where I noted that Mrs. Stuntman and I marked the occasion with a dinner at Frances in San Francisco. One dish Mrs. Stuntman ordered that evening was the Tuscan Kale & Butter Bean Soup with Farro, Crostini, Roasted Chicken and Garlic Broth. Truthfully? I wasn't all that excited by it but my opinion went 180 degrees in the other direction once it was served. It looked like nothing, yet it was the most flavorful broth I've ever had the pleasure of consuming. I remembered this dish when I chose farro because I knew it was a common substitute for rice in a risotto and wanted to see for myself. This flavor affinity I enjoyed at Frances was further reinforced on page 248 by noting that farro, kale and garlic pair well with each other in addition to the tip on page 247 that notes to add the cooking water from cannellini beans to the farro risotto a creamier and starchier texture.

Dish Details

I took some hints from the "farroto" recipe on the package of farro I purchased in addition to Chef Anne Burrell's version on pages 138 to 139 of Cook Like A Rock Star by Anne Burrell with Suzanne Lenzer, however this dish is a Crazy Foodie Stunts original. I could imagine it to be on any fine Italian menu, although its presentation would need to be elevated a little.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow or white onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup pearled or semi-pearled farro, soaked in water overnight then drained
1 cup dry white wine
6 to 8 cups chicken stock, warmed over low heat
3 cups baby kale, chopped
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt
Freshly ground lack pepper


1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions to the oil and sweat until softened, approximately 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir. Once the garlic is fragrant (approximately one to two minutes), add the farro to the onions and garlic to toast, an additional 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with white wine, continually stirring until the wine has evaporated, then add chicken stock, 1/2 cup to 1 cup at a time, stirring continuously until each addition has absorbed before adding the next one. Start tasting the farro after the third or fourth addition and stop adding stock once the it is al dente.

2. Once the farro is al dente, stir in the kale until wilted, then the beans until warmed through. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the butter and Parmesan until melted. Season the risotto with salt and pepper, then spoon into warmed bowls and garnish with more parmesan.

Final Thoughts

Before I proceed with the details of the giveaway, I must note Karen and Andrew's website, in addition to their instagram, twitter, facebook and pinterest pages. I also wanted to introduce you to the eight other participating bloggers. Please visit all of these ladies in addition to adding them to your social media platforms.

This giveaway is open to addresses in the USA only, including APO addresses. For a complete set of giveaway rules, see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I'm always looking for a starch change from usual, same-old pasta/rice/potatoes, DB, so this is an excellent recipe! Hearty and flavorful!

  2. Great Farrotto recipe! Will definitely be giving this a try!

  3. What a fabulous twist on risotto! I'm a huge fan of farro and it's great to learn what flavors pair perfectly with this grain :)

  4. Although I love "regular" risotto, farro is my favorite grain, so I think I'd love farro risotto even more. This looks creamy and delicious, and what a delicious flavor combo!

  5. I make a really yummy Thai almond veggie curry - lots of flavor and tastes awesome - it's my favorite vegetarian dish!


  7. This is really intriguing! I have only been eating farro for about a year and this is certainly a cool way to prepare it! Thanks for sharing!

  8. I am willing to try your farro recipe! not totally sure I can be a vegetarian! I love my chicken!


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