Fratelli Perata Winery

Fratelli Perata Farro with Acorn Squash

Our parents were more apt to use zucchini than acorn squash, polenta instead of farro. Sometimes, little bags in Italian delis call to you and good things result. Farro is a very, very old Italian wheat grain that the Roman soldiers and poor relied upon. It is very filling to eat, and makes many servings when prepared. I cooked a whole bag at once according to the package directions, and then had to devise 4 other meals with it. Whew. But we learned a lot, and it is a very good addition to your cooler day repertoire. Carol is very familiar with acorn squash, a frequent item in our Seattle kitchen. But we never roasted it when I was young, we simply baked the halves. It is the roasting that makes all the difference, even though it does take some time, like waiting for the laundry to dry. Pair this particular version with our Petit Verdot. They both have a sense of sweetness, although neither is actually sweet. Enjoy this laid back, all is good with the world and good with myself kind of evening.

1 acorn squash or about 1 pound cubed squash from somewhere like Trader Joe’s
1 TB  cheap olive oil, pomace is good
1 bunch kale, stemmed, then leaves chopped rough or torn
1 cup farro
1/2 cup brown or yellow onion, not sweet
2 cloves garlic
2 cups chicken broth, or can use vegetable broth to maintain vegetarian status
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more to pass around at the table

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. While the oven is heating, peel the whole acorn squash, cut in half and remove the seeds then cut into 1/2” cubes (or just get out your pre-cubed squash). Saute the cubed squash in the olive oil, not quite all the way through. When the oven is ready, put the squash in a single layer on a baking sheet with a rim. Then, like roasting cauliflower, roast about 35 minutes or more, turning every 10 minutes to caramelize. Don’t try to shorten this step, or the final results will suffer.

While the squash roasts, boil the kale about 10 minutes, drain and set aside. Also boil the farro in salted water about ten minutes, drain. While boiling, melt 2 TB butter in a tall sided skillet, add onion, cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic to the onion and cook another 2 minutes, but don't scorch. Add drained farro and 1 cup stock. Stir and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add additional stock as the farro absorbs it, cooking until the farro is tender, around another 30 minutes.

Then add the kale, squash and Parmesan, folding in gently so the squash isn’t squashed. Serve with additional Parmesan. Pretend you’re a Roman soldier who just got promoted. Salut!