Sweet Potato Farro Risotto

Can I be straight up with you for a second?  I cried after the debate on Monday night.  I'm not totally sure why.  It was some combination of fear and frustration and pride and relief.  I am in the camp of voters who has decided who they're going to vote for.  I'm with Hillary.  She is imperfect, yes.  But she is more than just the better option in a season of bad options.  I really do believe she is a great option and, let's not forget, the presidency is not graded on a curve.

I watched the debate in a room full of women (and one man) who are proud to be loud, obnoxious, driven, opinionated and intelligent.  We will all vote for Hillz.  I was raised in a family of mothers who are the same.  They will all vote for Hillz.  They are amazing women, and I've seen many of them be spoken to in a manner not all that different from how Donald spoke to Hillary on Monday.

Last spring I took an American Studies course on food at UNC.  It was taught by two amazing female professors who have written books and held conferences and been profiled by the New York Times.  Women who are doing work that explores race and gender and socio-economic inequality.  (Women who inspire me.)  At the end of the semester, a male graduate student expressed how much he had enjoyed the class work because it was "so light and fun and not that serious."  He explained that as a law student he spent a lot of time doing "really difficult, heavy work" and that this class had been a good break.

Watching the debate last night, I thought of that moment, when a graduate student thoughtlessly brushed off these women's life's work.  I remembered the time an academic advisor told me my academic plan seemed a little "ambitious" and that I might want to reconsider.  I  thought of all the men who have thought it was ok to call me sweetheart and brush me off or touch my hip.  That's probably why I cried, because she is proving every day that even if people want to speak to us like that, we can still do whatever we want.

This risotto is delicious and warm and full of protein - it's great for you, just like women are.  The farro makes it more filling - serve it with kale if you're trying to be healthy or parmesan cheese if you're trying to be comforted.

sweet potato farro risotto

Cooking time, 1 hour, 15 minutes.  

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups peeled, diced sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small (tennis ball sized or smaller) yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups cracked farro
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • black pepper
  • grated parmesan cheese, for topping
  • walnuts, for topping.

Warm chicken stock over low heat.

In a large, heavy bottom pot, sautéed olive oil and onions and sweet potatoes over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring to cook evenly. Add sage and garlic and sauté another minute.  Add farro and stir to cover with oil.  Add white wine and pepper and stir.  

Once the white wine has absorbed, add about a cup of the warm chicken broth and stir.  Cook 7-10 minutes, until the broth has mostly absorbed.  Repeat, stirring regularly, until all the chicken broth is absorbed and the farro is chewy and fully cooked.  Serve immediately, topped with walnuts and parmesan, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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