mains, salads, sides, pasta, grains, + noodles, vegetables

farro and roasted butternut squash

farro and roasted butternut squash At first glance, it looks like this might be one of those lonely, ho-hum dishes for the vegan at the dinner party.  On the contrary.  This little number has so many layers of complimentary flavors, you may find your dinner companions reaching for seconds to try and figure them all out.  Or is that just something food geeks do?  Rhetorical question, by the way. In any case, this makes for a lovely side dish but also easily stands on its own.  I had a version of this at The Kitchen in Boulder and slightly adapted the recipe to my taste. In their delicious version, they added chickpeas which are very nice too.

For those of you unfamiliar with farro, it is an ancient grain, most popular in Italian cuisine, with a firm, chewy bite, similar to wheatberries or barley.  Packed with protein, fiber and antioxidants, it's a healthy and interesting addition to your grain repertoire.

farro and roasted butternut squash

4 c cooked whole grain farro

4 c butternut squash, cut into 1" cubes

2 T maple syrup

3-4 T olive oil

2 bird chilies, diced (or less)

1/2 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 T toasted and ground cumin seeds (or less-I happen to love cumin)

1/2 c cilantro, finely chopped

juice of 1 lemon, divided

1/2 c Greek-style yogurt

salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350°

In a large rimmed baking sheet, spread the squash in an even layer.  the pig and the fig recipe blog

Coat with the maple syrup and 2 T or so of olive oil,  season with salt and pepper.  Roast until   tender, checking and stirring occasionally.

online recipe blog

Cook the farro until al dente, drain and to make roasted butternut squash

In a large saute pan, cook the onions, chili and garlic in some olive oil for a few minutes on medium heat.  Add the squash, farro, cumin, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.  You can make it ahead to this point.

roasted butternut squash

When you are ready, either gently reheat or serve it at room temperature, tossing in the cilantro at the last minute.  Drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil, if you'd like.

Mix together the remaining lemon juice with the yogurt and season with salt and pepper.  Serve along side.