Chef Michel Nischan encourages people to shop locally to support their communities and local economies. He says his perfect Earth Day meal would feature the following dish — with ingredients fresh from the local farmers market.

Risotto-Style Summer Heirloom Farro
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
8 fresh zucchini blossoms, optional
1 cup uncooked farro (a type of grain)
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 large zucchini, diced
1-1/2 cups fresh sweet corn kernels
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, sliced


1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until softened but not browned. Add the zucchini blossoms, if using, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for about 1 minute. Remove the blossoms to a plate and keep warm. Add the farro. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes just to coat with the oil and mix with the onions.
2. Pour the stock into the skillet. Stir the farro and onions. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 40 to 45 minutes, at which time the farro should be tender and the stock evaporated. Add more stock if needed during cooking to keep the farro moist.
3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in another large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the zucchini and corn kernels. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the vegetables brown. Add the tomatoes. Cook for about 1 minute to warm through. Add the farro and toss to mix. Add the butter and stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Spoon the farro onto each of 8 plates. Garnish each plate with a zucchini blossom.


Serves 8

Time estimates

Prep time: 20 min  

Cook time: 1 hour 

Total time: 1 hour 20 min  

Also on MNN: Nischan sees local eating as a heroic act

Recipe: Risotto-Style Summer Heirloom Farro
Michel Nischan, author of "Sustainably Delicious," shares a dish from his perfect Earth Day meal.