Farro With Roasted Squash, Feta and Mint
Falling somewhere between a grain bowl and a warm grain salad, this colorful dish is substantial enough to be a meatless main course, or it makes a hearty side dish to simple roasted meat or fish. You can use whatever kind of squash you like here, either peeled or unpeeled. Squash skin is perfectly edible; let anyone who objects cut theirs away at the table (though see if you can get them to try it first). If you don’t have farro, you can substitute brown rice. Just increase the cooking time by about 20 minutes.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2teaspoons sugar
- ¾teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾teaspoon fine sea salt, more as needed
- ¼teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
- 3pounds winter squash, such as kabocha, carnival or butternut, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices (leave the peels on or remove as desired)
- 1 ½cups apple cider
- 2 ½teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
- 1 ½cups farro
- 2tablespoons apple cider vinegar, more to taste
- 2garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane or minced
- ½teaspoon black pepper
- 7tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
- 3ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
- Fresh mint or arugula leaves, or both
Step 1Heat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare the squash: In a large bowl, mix together olive oil, sugar, cinnamon, salt, pepper and cayenne. Add squash and toss well to coat with the spiced oil. Lay the squash pieces out flat on one or two rimmed baking sheets.
Step 2Roast squash until the bottoms are golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully turn the pieces over and continue to roast until tender, another 10 to 20 minutes.
Step 3Meanwhile, make the farro: In a medium pot, bring the apple cider, 2 cups water and the salt to a simmer. Add farro and simmer until water is absorbed and the farro is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. If the liquid evaporates before the farro is done, add a little more water. Or, if there’s still liquid in the pot when the farro is done, drain it.
Step 4In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, garlic and pepper. Whisk in olive oil. Add farro and toss well, adding more oil or salt, or both, if needed.
Step 5To serve, spoon the farro on a platter and top with the squash, feta, mint or arugula, or both, and a drizzle of olive oil.