Healthy Recipe: Spring Farro Risotto

The trick to sounder sleep may begin long before you hit the hay. Why? According to a 2020 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, the type of carbohydrates you eat by day influence how quickly you conk out at night. After tracking the diets of more than 50,000 postmenopausal women for three years, researchers found that those who ate the most refined grains and added sugars were more likely to battle insomnia than those who consumed more whole grains, fiber, and vegetables. (The study authors aren’t sure exactly why, but they suspect refined grains and added sugars cause insulin spikes that mess with the quality of your Zzz’s.) 

If you’d like to drift off more quickly, try this tasty whole-grain farro for a slowly-digested meal that will help to lull you into dreamland.


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped

1¼ cups (225 g) farro

½ cup (4 oz/118 ml) dry white wine

4 cups (32 oz/1 l) low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

½ pound (8 oz/250 g) asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

3 oz (90 g) soft goat cheese, crumbled

Juice of 1 lemon 

Zest of 1 lemon

1 cup (5 oz/155 g) frozen peas, thawed

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and sauté until it begins to soften slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in farro and cook for 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Whisk in white wine and cook for an additional minute or two, or until wine has evaporated. Pour in the broth and bring to a bubble. Cook uncovered for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add asparagus and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until just tender (if the farro has soaked up most of the cooking liquid, add a few extra tablespoons of water). Remove pot from heat. Fold in goat cheese, lemon juice and zest, peas, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Top with additional thyme if desired.

Makes 4 servings.


Calories 416

Protein 19 g

Total fat 11 g

Saturated fat 4 g

Cholesterol 10 mg

Carbs 59 g

Fiber 10 g

Total sugars 8 g 

Added sugars 0 g

Sodium 214 mg

Powered by ESHA Nutrient Data, © 2021 ESHA Research, Inc. 

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