Creamy Carrot Farrotto

This Creamy Carrot Farrotto by Annie Fenn looks deliciously divine!

Farrotto combines the classic technique of rice-based risotto with farro, a chewy, delicious type of whole-grain wheat. In this plant-based rendition, you’ll simmer the grains in a carrot-infused stock and top them with spears of roasted carrot. Just like making classic risotto, this one likes you to hover and stir. Buying farro can be confusing because it goes by many names. Semi-pearled farro is my top choice for this recipe, but other types will also work (see Recipe Tips).

* Excerpted from The Brain Health Kitchen by Annie Fenn (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2023

Photographs by Alexandra Grablewski

Creamy Carrot Farrotto

Creamy Carrot Farrotto Serves: 4-6


  • ¾ pound (340 g) slender carrots with tops attached, scrubbed well, cut into 4-inch (10 cm) pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups (500 ml) carrot juice
  • 4 cups (1 L) vegetable stock, homemade (page 374) or store-bought (low-sodium, if possible)
  • 1 large shallot (5 ounces/ 140 g), finely chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1½ cups (300 g) semi- pearled or pearled farro (see Recipe Tip)
  • ½ cup (60 g) Walnut “Parm” (page 184 of Annie's book) or freshly grated Parmesan chees
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Finely chopped carrot tops (optional)


  1. 1 Set an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. 2 Place the carrots on the prepared baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Spread them in a single layer and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, tossing once, until the carrots are golden brown and starting to get crispy.
  3. 3 Meanwhile, make the farrotto. Warm the carrot juice and stock in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm on the stove.
  4. 4 Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, sprinkle with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the farro, stirring well to coat the grains.
  5. 5 Using a ladle or a measuring cup, transfer ½ cup (120 ml) of the stock mixture to the pan. Adjust the heat so the sauce gently simmers, and cook, stirring often, until almost all the liquid has been absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the remaining stock ½ cup (120 ml) at a time and continue to add the liquid in stages until the farro is tender but still chewy, 30 to 40 minutes total.
  6. 6 Stir in ¼ cup (30 g) of the “Parm,” the vinegar, and the pepper. Divide the farrotto between shallow bowls, then top with the roasted carrots and the remaining ¼ cup (30 g) “Parm.” Sprinkle with the thyme and carrot tops, if using. Finish with more pepper, if you like.


Recipe Tips: 
  • Carrot tops are rich in folate and vitamin K, but they are so often thrown out. Use the whole carrot in this dish and look for slender, rainbow-colored carrots with the greens still attached.
  • Have you cooked with farro? Different types of farro vary in cooking times, a reflection of how processed the grain is. 
  • Pearled farro cooks up the quickest but has had all of its bran removed as well as most of its fiber.
  • Semi-pearled farro retains more bran and is Annie's farro of choice—it provides more fiber and takes just a few more minutes to cook than pearled. 
  • Whole-grain farro is not processed at all and so retains the greatest amount of fiber, balanced by a cooking time of up to 1½ hours. (An overnight soak speeds that up.) 
  • The freshness of the grain matters, too, so if your farro is old, it will take longer to cook.
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