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Friday, December 12, 2014

Farrotto with Acorn Squash & Kale

I'm sitting here at our kitchen table with Nick and my dad tearing out our 8 remaining windows from 1924. I am shocked Gray is sleeping through the rip and roar. This is how it seems to be lately - moments of pause amongst frantic events. I finally got my act together this week to prepare dinner while the sun was still up so I could actually snap some photos and share it with you. We've had some yummy meals lately but they've all happened after the 4:13pm sunset and are in our stomachs come the sunny (photographable) morning. How I wish I had just one shot of that apple cider braised chicken.

I knew I had to make time for this recipe when a food-loving friend of mine emailed me "If you still have Heritage, turn to page 93 and cook!  Did not disappoint, flavors are right up your alley (and mine)! It seems only fair to pass along the advice so fill a mug and stretch out that stirring arm as quick a farrotto is not.

Farrotto with Acorn Squash & Kale
from Heritage

Acorn Squash:
1 small acorn squash (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Scant 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 cup vegetable stock
1 bunch Red Russian or other kale (about 3 pounds)

2 quarts vegetable stock
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups farro
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup diced white onion
1 garlic clove, sliced paper-thin
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 

For the squash: Preheat the oven to 425F. Cut the squash in half. Remove and discard the seeds and rinse the squash under cold water. Place the squash cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Divide the butter between the two halves and sprinkle with the salt and white pepper. Roast the squash for 35 minutes, or until fork-tender.

While the squash is roasting, prepare the kale: Remove the stems and ribs from the leaves. Make stacks of the leaves, roll them into cylinders, and cut them into very thin ribbons. Wash the kale in a sink of cold water, changing it several times, to remove any sand. Drain and dry with paper towels.

When the squash is done, remove it from the oven and pour the butter and juices from the cavities into a blender. Let the squash cool enough to handle.

Warm the stock in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Peel the squash. Place the pulp in the blender, add warm stock, and blend on high to a very smooth puree, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

For the farrotto: Preheat the oven to 425 F. Heat the stock in a partially covered large saucepan over medium heat; keep warm over low heat.

Heat the canola oil in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the farro and stir to coat it with the oil. Place the skillet in the oven and toast the farro for 8 minutes, stirring after 4 minutes. Transfer the farro to a bowl and reserve. Wipe the skillet clean.

Put the empty skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, about 2 minutes, add 2 tablespoons of the butter and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, increase the heat to high, and cook until the wine is almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Add the toasted farro to the pan and stir to coat. Add 1/2 cup of the warm stock, reduce the heat to medium, and stir until the liquid is almost absorbed before adding the next, until the farro grains have expanded and are al dente, about 1 hour. The farro will look creamy like risotto.

To complete: Remove the farro from the heat, add the squash puree and kale, and stir until the kale is wilted. Put the skillet back over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and cheese. Stir and serve.


  1. When is the cup of cheese added to the dish? I see to add 2 tablespoons at the end, but there isn't any other mention of the cheese, is there??

  2. Hi Maggie! Yes, you add it all at the end with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter (but all the cheese) - "...add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and cheese. Stir and serve" Good luck!

    1. Ah, I see. 2 tbsp of butter and all of the cheese. Thank you!! This dish was delicious, by the way!


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