January 14, 2013

Farro and Roasted Butternut Squash

This is the first time I've ever tried Farro but it won't be the last.  I loved it.  I like Quinoa too but I like this even better.  The texture is much better for me, chewy but soft at the same time and the flavor is nutty but not overpowering so you can pretty much flavor it up a ton of different ways.

If you're wondering what Farro is, let me explain, It is one of the oldest grains to ever be cultivated by humans.  Originally found in the Middle East and is now mostly grown in Italy.  Apparently it's a wonderful breakfast dish also when served with maple syrup or honey and fruit.  I will be trying that for sure!  I plan to make sure this is added to my regular grocery list.

Cooking the Farro in chicken or vegetable stock will just give another layer of flavor.

While your Farro is cooking, roast the vegetables that have been coated in oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme and salt.  Turn every so often so all sides get golden. 

After the veggies are cooked and the farro is tender mix them together and top with goat cheese if you'd like.

I loved how chewy the farro is and the balsamic vinegar is just a slight background taste and doesn't overpower the rest of the flavors at all.

Farro and Roasted Butternut Squash
Nature's Earthly Choice

  • 1 - 12 oz package (2 cups) pearled Farro
  • 2 tsp fine grained sea salt
  • 5 cups water or stock (I used chicken stock)
  • 3 cups butternut squash, cut in 1/2" dices
  • 1 large red onion, cut in 8 pieces (I used yellow)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme (I used 1 tsp dried)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup walnuts, deeply toasted (I omitted these)
  • 3 Tbsp walnut or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese (optional)
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the faro, salt and stock or water. Cook over medium heat, then cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 15-20 minutes until the farro is tender.
  3. Remove from the heat and drain any remaining liquid.
  4. While the farro is cooking, toss the squash, onion and thyme with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a couple of big pinches of salt.
  5. Line a jelly roll pan with tin foil and put the squash mixture onto the pan in an even layer.
  6. Cook for about 20 minutes, turning the veggies about every 7 minutes so that all the veggies brown evenly.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
  8. Mince about half of the onions.
  9. In a large bowl gently toss the veggies and the faro with the walnut oil or the olive oil. Taste and add salt if needed.
  10. Garnish with goat cheese crumbles.

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