Cubes of butternut squash hold their shape and bite, and stand out wonderfully against the farro background in "Farrotto" with Butternut, Gruyere, and Hazelnuts. Grated Gruyere cheese and chopped hazelnuts add the perfect touch of fat and salt at the end of this vegetarian main dish.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced leek (about 1 large)
1 cup uncooked farro
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups water, divided
4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup packed)
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
How to Make It
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add leek; sauté 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add farro and garlic; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 1 minute or until wine evaporates. Add 1 cup water; cook 8 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring frequently. Add 2 more cups water, 1 cup at a time, stirring until each portion is absorbed before adding the next (about 30 minutes total). Stir in remaining 1 cup water, squash, sage, salt, and pepper. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until squash is just tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheese; sprinkle with nuts. Serve immediately.
This recipe is absolutely superb--to get the full Mark Bittman effect and to appreciate the pleasure of slow-cooking farrotto fully, you have to read the accompany Mark Bittman article. This is genuine cold-weather comfort food. I don't often repeat recipes, but this one is a keeper to which I have returned. I have become a farrotto and farro junkie and was fortunate to be able to buy a bunch of Blue Hill Spelt & Emmer Blend on clearance at Williams-Sonoma. Can't recommend this recipe enough--you will savor every bite, and if the people to whom you serve it don't appreciate it, they don't deserve it. A genuine pleasure both to make as well as to eat.
Outstanding! I made this as part of the Thanksgiving meal that I prepared for my family. As I was cooking it, I was nervous that it wouldn't taste very good, but oh boy, was it tasty! I cheated: because I had a package of pre-cooked farro (Target's Archer Farms brand) in my pantry, I used that instead of uncooked farro. Because it was already cooked, I decided to eliminate the first three cups of water and the related steps, and just added the one cup of water with the squash, sage, salt, & pepper. It turned out perfect and cut out the 30 minutes of stirring. This was one of the favorites at our Thanksgiving table this year, so I will definitely make it again.
I omitted the hazelnuts because I didn't have them, but I didn't miss them one bit. Otherwise, I made no adjustments to the recipe. This was a delicious dish. You could technically use any grain you wish, but I'm a fan of the size and heartiness of the farro. Steel cut oats or pearled barley would be a perfect substitute, if you wanted something else. The flavors blended beautifully and the addition of the gruyere made it seem so decadent. I would highly recommend making this.
This was a really tasty recipe. I didn't find there was too much water as someone else stated. Also, yes, it is labor intensive, but risottos are and I was expecting to be at the stove for a while. It was stated on the "hands-on" time anyway. I used a bit less hazelnuts and no cheese for less fat and it was really good. My husband has full nuts and we used Parmesan b/c that is what we had on hand and he liked it. I did cook it for slightly less (6 mins) than stated on the last 30 mins, but that may be b/c I had the heat up too high.
I ended up using traditional arborio rice (risotto) since I was unable to find farro anywhere at my local natural foods market. It was such a delicious, well balanced flavor combination. I highly recommend this.
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