Farro 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- While the squash is roasting, saute the onion in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft. Season with salt and pepper.
- 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.
- After the last bit of broth has been absorbed, season with salt and pepper to taste and then toss in the cooked butternut squash.
- 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.
- 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.