Rice and Grains

Farro with Winter Squash and Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of cubed winter squash
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, cleaned, sliced if large, whole if small
  • 2 medium shallots or the white part of 2 medium leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic smashed and minced fine
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme leaves
  • Pinch each of sea salt and pepper
  • 2 oz. Marsala or sweet Vermouth
  • Extra virgin olive oil or
  • A L' Olivier hazelnut oil to taste
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas
  • ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • INGREDIENTS for SPICE BLEND
  • ½ teaspoon whole coriander
  • ½ teaspoon whole cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black peppercorns (seeds of paradise would be brilliant)!
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preparation:

Time: 1 1/2 hours
Yield: 6-8 SERVINGS
  • MAKE the FARRO.
  • Boil farro in 3 quarts of lightly salted water for 20- 30 minutes, strain. It should be al dente. Cook it a few minutes longer if you prefer a softer texture.
  • MAKE the SPICE BLEND.
  • Heat a small pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add the cumin, coriander, seeds of paradise, or black peppercorns. Turn the heat off.
  • Shake the spices in the pan until they are fragrant. Grind them in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of sea salt.
  • Stir in the allspice, cinnamon and pimenton.
  • MAKE the SQUASH.
  • Steam or boil it till just soft, 10–15 minutes. Drain and put it in a bowl. Toss it in a bit of olive oil, dust with the spice blend.
  • MAKE the MUSHROOMS.
  • Sauté mushrooms in olive oil with the shallot, garlic and a pinch of thyme and a crack of pepper. Don't brown the mushrooms. Deglaze them with a shot of Marsala or Vermouth if the spirit moves you.
  • ASSEMBLE the SALAD.
  • Gently combine the squash, mushrooms and farro in a shallow bowl with the oil. Stir in the pepitas and hazelnuts. Taste for salt and pepper. Sprinkle with thyme leaves.
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