Farro with Roasted Butternut Squash & Fried Sage Leaves

img_9042Farro is an ancient grain with a delicious, nutty flavor and chewy texture. Butternut squash is a hard winter vegetable and when roasted has a sweet flavor similar to that of a yam or sweet potato. Now add fresh, fried sage leaves with its warm, subtle, earthy essence and you have a delicious dish perfect for this time of year.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 5 tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil (Delicate), divided, plus more for frying sage
  • 1 teaspoon course salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup farro
  • 4 cups chicken broth, hot
  • Fresh sage leaves, stems removed
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  1. Toss the squash with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet in a single layer and bake in a preheated 400* oven for 30 minutes. Carefully remove pan from oven and give it a stir and then bake an additional 10 minutes until golden brown and tender.
  2. Heat the broth in a saucepan on top of the stove or in a microwaveable container (I use a glass, 2-quart Pyrex measuring cup). The liquid should be just simmering.
  3. While the squash is roasting, saute the onion in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in the farro until it is well-coated with the oil and cook until lightly toasted for about 2-3 minutes (stir constantly). Add 1 cup of the hot chicken broth and stir until the liquid is almost completely absorbed. Repeat this process adding just a 1/2 cup at a time.
  5. After the last bit of broth has been absorbed, season with salt and pepper to taste and then toss in the cooked butternut squash.
  6. Using a small frying pan, fill with 1-inch of olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Quickly fry 3 or 4 sage leaves at a time. Fry only a few seconds on each side and then carefully place on paper towels to drain. Season with salt.
  7. To serve, spoon farro into individual bowls or plates, top with several fried sage leaves and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Using a spoon, drizzle the oil (leftover from frying the sage leaves) on top of the individual servings.

 

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