Butternut Squash and Farro - Recipe

     Farro is an ancient type of wheat grain dating back thousands of years that has a nutty flavor and chewy texture.  Ever since I tried it for the first time, I have loved it.  I use a semi-pearled farro where the bran has been partially removed.  There is a pearl version which has all the bran removed and has a quicker cooking time.  The whole grain version keeps all the bran but has a longer cooking time.  Check the cooking instructions for the particular kind you may have.

     I soak the farro overnight for two reasons:  easier cooking, and increasing the availability of vitamins to our bodies.  I prefer soaking my grains whenever I can.

     You can serve this dish at room temperature.  Butternut squash and cranberries add sweetness and the green pepper and pumpkin seeds add crunch.  The cinnamon and nutmeg pair well with the nutty, hearty flavor of the farro.  I have also used Italian parsley instead of green pepper which is great too!

Butternut Squash and Farro

(Serves 8)

8 oz. Farro (semi-pearled)
1 T. Yogurt or Lemon Juice
1 Butternut Squash
Olive Oil
Black Pepper
2 c. Chicken Broth
1/2 c. Dried Cranberries
1 Green Pepper diced
Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds to taste
Freshly Grated Nutmeg to taste
Ground Cinnamon to taste

Variation:  Replace Green Pepper with 1/4 c. Italian Parsley

Place faro and yogurt or lemon juice in a bowl.  Add water a little beyond the top of the farro. Cover and let sit overnight at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy material.  Peel the skin and cut into 1 inch cubes.  Place squash in a baking dish and toss with enough olive oil to coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then roast 20 minutes until soft.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

Rinse and drain the farro.  Cook by bringing the chicken broth and faro to a boil in a sauce pan.  Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for 35 minutes until al dente.  Only stir once in the beginning to ensure a fluffy grain.  Remove from heat and let rest in the pan for 10 minutes covered to absorb any leftover liquid.  Place into a very large mixing bowl to cool.

Add the squash, cranberries, and green pepper to the farro.  For a crunch add sprouted pumpkin seeds to taste.  Season with nutmeg and cinnamon to taste.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve at room temperature.  Store covered in refrigerator.


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