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Farro Risotto with Acorn Squash and Kale

Farro Risotto with Acorn Squash and Kale

Farro isn’t something we’d cooked with before. Arborio, barley, bulgar, quinoa… all grains with regular shelf space in our pantry. But farro was a new one. In fact I had to spell it out for Taylor when I first mentioned it, and ever since then he bursts into song, “The fairest daughter of the Pharaoh’s son” (from Josh Ritter’s Monster Ballad) every time I say the word farro (leaving the tune stuck firmly in our heads during the entire hour and a half preparation). It’s a dish with its own soundtrack! To be honest, I don’t even know if it’s pronounced farro (like fair-oh) or farro (like far-oh). But I do know that it was gosh darn tasty.

Farro Risotto with Acorn Squash and Kale

Hearty enough to fill us up, healthy enough to feel good about it. Paired with the sweetness of the acorn squash (we’ve also made this with butternut with just as stellar results) and the lovely bitterness of the kale, it’s a vegetarian meal that is worth repeating. And repeating. And indeed, we’ve made it three times since. Use a good vegetable broth (homemade if you have it, Trader Joe’s broth is also fabulously carroty), because, like any risotto, the grain absorbs nearly all the liquid, the broth is one of the biggest contributors to the overall flavor of the dish.

Farro Risotto with Acorn Squash and Kale

It wasn’t until we started cooking that we realized this was Sean Brock’s recipe. Sean Brock as in the chef at Husk in Charleston. A restaurant we visited back in August when we went to Charleston for a mini-vacation. I have not forgotten their bourbon glazed biscuits with lard butter. I don’t think I ever will.

So we closed our eyes and imagined we were sitting on the porch, soaking up the sun and the sea breeze in Charleston once again. Isn’t that what you imagine when you’re eating a hearty winter risotto?

Farro Risotto with Acorn Squash and Kale

Yield: 3-4 servings

Total Time: 1 hour 30 min

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 small acorn squash, peeled, halved, seeded, cut into 1/2" cubes
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1/2 bunch red Russian or other kale (about 5 ounces), center stems removed, leaves torn
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 cup farro
1/4 cup diced white onion
1 small garlic clove, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups vegetable stock mixed with 2 cups water, warmed
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan. Add squash, season lightly with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, turning squash every 10 minutes, until tender, 30–35 minutes.

Cook kale in a large pot of boiling salted water until wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool; drain.

Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add farro; toss to coat. Roast in oven until toasted, stirring once, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; wipe out skillet.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic; stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add wine; increase heat to high. Stir until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add farro and 1/2 cup warm stock mixture. Stir until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Continue cooking, adding broth by 1/2 cupfuls and allowing broth to be absorbed between additions, until farro is tender, about 1 hour.

Add kale, squash, remaining 1 tablespoon butter, and cheese; stir gently until butter and cheese are melted and vegetables are heated through, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Recipe from Bon Appétit.

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23 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On December 28, 2011 at 10:35 am

    this sounds absolutely wonderful, a great twist on risotto!

    Reply

  2. 2
    Posted On December 28, 2011 at 10:43 am

    This look absolutely delicious! But… I’m ready for those tiramisu shooters!

    Reply

  3. 3
    Posted On December 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    yum! random note: i like your new recipe style :)

    Reply

  4. 4
    Posted On December 28, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Risotto is one of my favorite things to make…I haven’t ever used farro either, though. It looks wonderful. I’ll have to try!

    Reply

  5. 5
    Posted On December 28, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more kale into my diet -can’t wait to try this!

    Reply

  6. 6
    Posted On December 28, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Mmm, it looks so delish and warm and perfect for the chilly day we’re having. And your photos and the details are just lovely!

    Reply

  7. 7
    Posted On December 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    interesting… great twist & can’t wait to try!

    Reply

  8. 8
    Posted On December 28, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Looks perfect for cold evenings!! Yum!

    Reply

  9. 9
    Posted On December 28, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    This is totally calling my name

    Reply

  10. 10
    Posted On December 28, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    I knew this looked familiar! See http://www.taste-life-twice.com/2011/04/pictures-are-coming-pictures-are-coming.html for my take on a 101 Cookbooks recipe involving sweet potatoes and spices for an appetizer. It had the same warm, inviting “Mash Me” look to it… hard to resist sweet potatoes!

    Reply

  11. 11
    Posted On December 28, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Looks wonderful! I did not know you could peel an acorn squash. I’m going to try it! I know you can with butternut squash but not acorn. Thanks. This recipe looks amazing!

    Reply

  12. 12
    Posted On December 29, 2011 at 3:59 am

    Mmmmm! I am trying to have more of a grain variety, and this lookso die for! Lovethecolor from the squash and kale :)

    Reply

  13. 13
    Posted On December 29, 2011 at 6:49 am

    I love substituting the rice in risotto with other interesting grains and this looks gorgeous – just the kind of healthy sustenance I need to bring in the New Year and end the Christmas decadence!

    Reply

  14. 14
    Posted On December 29, 2011 at 11:53 am

    That is one bowl of winter deliciousness!!

    Happy New Year, Lindsay :)

    Reply

  15. 15
    Posted On December 29, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Oh this looks so healthy & delish! Perfect for after the week of holiday indulgence. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year, Lindsay!

    Reply

  16. 16
    Posted On December 29, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Great combination of flavors!

    Reply

  17. 17
    Posted On January 2, 2012 at 12:15 am

    Oh, we LOVE farro! Squash and kale, too. This recipe is perfect for us. I can’t wait to make it. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

  18. 18
    Shanley
    Posted On January 16, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    can i just say that i love this blog even MORE now that i know you guys are josh ritter fans?!?

    Reply

  19. 19
    Posted On February 4, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I’ve yet to try farro – can’t wait to try this recipe. I’m a big of squash and kale, so I’m sure I’ll love this.

    Reply

  20. 20
    Mike Edwards
    Posted On June 16, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Okay, so I’ve just finished evaporating the wine on high heat. Now I add the farro and the broth – am I supposed to leave it on high? No That can’t be right. Ah, I know how to figure the heat setting – just adjust it so that the half-cup of broth is absorbed in about three minutes (like the recipe suggests). But wait a minute: three minutes per half cup times 4 cups equals 24 minutes. But the recipe says this should take “about an hour”. Hmm, which is it? Well, I’ve made rice risotto before, so I just kinda did the same and it worked out fine in the end.

    Lindsey and Taylor, please fix these little niggles in the recipe – because the end result is really, really great food!!!

    Reply

    • Posted On June 17, 2012 at 10:01 am

      If you’ve made risotto you know it’s more art than science. Just because the wine takes 3 minutes to absorb does not mean each 1/2 cup addition is going to take exactly 3 minutes. It’ll depend on a wide variety of factors. We found it took 45 minutes to an hour to get tender, quite a bit longer than regular rice risotto. We had no problem following the directions on the original recipe (maybe you should bring up your niggles with Bon Appetit) and arriving at a delicious final product!

      Glad you enjoyed it, regardless.

  21. 21
    Posted On March 4, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Such great comfort food! Eating it right now :)

    Reply

  22. 22
    Dave Novak
    Posted On November 28, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    A thanksgiving dinner hit, thank you so much.

    Reply

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