This is really my sister’s recipe, although I give myself a little credit for helping. Actually, though, it’s probably really Heidi Swanson’s recipe, since it’s sort of a cross between two recipes that she put up on her amazing blog — Farro andÂ Roasted Butternut Squash, and Hazlenut and Chard Ravioli Salad. Both, I’m sure, are delicious on their own, and we loved this hodgepodge of the two.
I had never made farro before, and it was nutty and delicious with a great texture (and healthy!). If you don’t have access to farro, quinoa would be a great substitute, or even whole wheat pasta. Shockingly, I had also never cooked swiss chard before! I know that I’ve seen it at the farmer’s market on plenty of trips, though, so I will definitely be experimenting with it again.
I had a little bit of an internal debate over whether to tag this as a “main dish” or as a “side dish.” I would eat this as a vegetarian meal, certainly, but it could also be served as a side. So I’m putting it in both categories to avoid waking up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, thinking to myself, “it should have been a main course…” There are only so many times that can happen, you know?
Farro with Butternut Squash
and Swiss Chard
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fleur de sel (or coarse sea salt)
1 bunch swiss chard, washed and cut into 2″ pieces
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped coarsely
2 cups butternut squash pieces (we used the kind that comes sliced from the store)
zest of one lemon
2 cups farro
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1. In a large stock pot, heat farro, salt and stock to a simmer. Stir every few minutes for 35-40 min, or until farro is nearly cooked (still slightly crunchy, with some stock remaining to be absorbed).
2. While farro is cooking, in a large saute pan, cook olive oil, onions and garlic until translucent.
3. Add hazlenuts and toast rapidly, about 2 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat.
4. After 35 minutes, add butternut squash, lemon zest, and onion/hazlenut mixture to the farro. Simmer 10 minutes. Add swiss chard, simmer five additional minutes or until farro is fully cooked and all the stock has been absorbed. Remove from heat and serve!
Serves 8 as a side, 4-6 as a main course.