If you couldn't tell from my Farro "Risotto" with Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Goat Cheese and my Roasted Tomato Farro Bake, I love farro. I'd choose it over rice any day. Its nutty texture goes with so many different ingredients and flavors. It works well warm, as in a baked dish, or cold, as in a salad. It's even nice in soup. And if you desire a little creaminess to complement the nuttiness, you simply need to cook it risotto-style to make a farrotto. I love its versatility.
It's fall, and the weather has me thinking comfort food, so I was drawn to the idea of a farrotto with butternut squash. I thought sage and goat cheese, plus a leek and a little sherry vinegar would play nicely with the squash. The combination was as good as I'd imagined. The roasted squash and creamy cheese added soft elements to the more toothsome farro, and the vinegar's acidity kept the richness in check.
This is fall in a bowl, and I can see it being my repeat dish this fall. I think it would take well to acorn squash and pumpkin too. And the type of herb or cheese can be switched up to keep it fresh and interesting. For a non-vegetarian version, some bacon or pancetta would add even more savory depth and a little saltiness to the mix.
Farrotto With Butternut Squash, Sage, And Goat Cheese
This farrotto with butternut squash, sage, and goat cheese combines go-to fall ingredients with creamy, nutty farro for a sweet and savory comfort-food dish.
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
5 to 6 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (from about one 3-pound squash)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
1½ cups farro, rinsed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, washed thoroughly, and cut thin crosswise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, plus fried sage leaves (optional)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 to 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Crumbled goat cheese, room temperature
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In large roasting pan, toss squash cubes with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Spread in even layer, and roast, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine farro and 4 cups water in pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes. Drain farro and return to pot.
Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in chopped sage and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and transfer to plate (or to roasting pan with squash if it's done).
Add farro to skillet and stir in ½ cup broth. Increase heat to medium-high and stir frequently. Once broth has been absorbed, add another ½ cup, and stir again until broth is absorbed again. Repeat 2 more times, adding 2 cups total.
Off heat, stir squash and leek mixture into farro. Stir in sherry vinegar to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon into individual bowls, and serve topped with goat cheese and fried sage leaves, if using.
What dishes are going to be on your table all fall long?