The comparison to risotto for this is definitely inaccurate. It has nothing in common with risotto and more in common with other large-grain dishes I've made before (such as ones with wheat berries or barley). I was thrilled to finally find farro at the grocery store, so that was fun. This is really good, but if you're expecting a risotto you should look elsewhere. This is also more southeast-Asian than Italian. With the cumin seed, yogurt, and cilantro, it has a definite Indian flair. But it is delicious! And even though it sounds like it's really complicated, it all cooks at the same time and is done in about half an hour. I popped in a steamable bag of brussels sprouts and voila! A tasty dinner. We would make this again.
Heirloom Squash Farrotto
Bon Appetit, October 2010
For this twist on classic risotto, The Kitchen uses farro (hence the name "farrotto") instead of rice. No endless stirring required!
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice -- (or more) divided
3 garlic cloves -- 1 minced, 2 thinly sliced
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled butternut squash
4 tablespoons olive oil -- divided
2 cups semi-pearled farro
2 tablespoons chopped Fresno chile or red jalapeño chile with seeds -- divided
3/4 cup 1/2-inch cubes red onion plus 1/4 cup thinly sliced
15 ounces garbanzo beans -- (chickpeas) drained
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil
Ingredient info: Farro is available at specialty foods stores -- natural foods stores, and Italian markets. Semi-pearled farro, or farro perlato , cooks faster. It can also be found online at gustiamo.com.
1. Toast cumin seeds in small skillet over medium heat until fragrant and beginning to smoke, 4 to 5 minutes. Cool; grind in spice grinder. Transfer 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin to small bowl. Mix in yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill.
2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place squash in large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil; toss to coat. Spread squash out on sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 25 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook farro in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Drain farro and cool.
4. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced garlic and 1 tablespoon chile; sauté 1 minute. Add onion cubes and garbanzo beans; sauté 1 minute. Add roasted squash and cooked farro and toss to blend. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin and 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice; toss to blend. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.
5. Mound farro mixture on 4 plates. Spoon yogurt mixture over. Sprinkle with cilantro, sliced onion, and remaining chile. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve. add your own note