I have been pretty curious about farro lately, and the other day I decided to finally give it a try.
VERDICT: It's my new favorite grain! It's more plump and rice-like than bulgar, and more arborio-like than plain old brown rice. You guys gotta try it.
I found this recipe on 101Cookbooks. It was hearty and delicious--a great healthy fall or winter meal. The only change I might make is not toasting the walnuts--it was too much with the other heavy flavors for my taste. Or maybe I'd use pine nuts instead.
Without further ado:
Farro and Roasted Butternut Squash
2 cups farro, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt
5 cups water (or stock)
3 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large red onion cut into 1/8ths
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup walnuts, deeply toasted
3 tablespoons toasted walnut oil (or more olive oil)
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled (I found it needed more cheese than this, so I through in some feta, and I actually liked that better. The saltiness contrasts the sweetness of the balsalmic, squash and onions nicely.)
Preheat oven to 375.
Combine the farro, salt, and water in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the farro is tender, 45 minutes to an hour, or about half the time if you are using semi-pearled farro. Taste often as it is cooking, you want it to be toothsome and retain structure. Remove from heat, drain any excess water, and set aside.
While the farro is cooking toss the squash, onion, and thyme with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a couple big pinches of salt on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer and place in the oven for about 20 minutes. Toss the squash and onions every 5-7 minutes to get browning on multiple sides. Remove from the oven, let cool a bit, and mince just 1/2 of the red onions.
In a large bowl gently toss the everything (except the goat cheese) with the toasted walnut oil (or olive oil). Taste and add a bit of salt if necessary. Serve family-style in a simple bowl or on a platter garnished with the goat cheese.
Serves 6-8 as a side, less as a main. (No way, Heidi. I had enough for several dinners and lunches for me and my roommates. I would guess 8-10 entree-sized portions!)