After a long day of work a few weeks ago, I returned home determined to unwind in the kitchen and create a simple, comforting dish with whatever ingredients I had lying around (truth be told, I was in pretty desperate need to get to the grocery store). Thankfully, I had a few base staples and some remaining vegetables just waiting to be mixed and matched. The result was a warm and hearty farro dish that would serve as a welcomed addition to any Thanksgiving spread (and it's perfect if you've got a vegetarian guest). Fall flavors, thyme, antioxidant-rich butternut squash, mushrooms and a toothsome and high-fiber complex carb like farro made a perfect combination.
Pantry Farro with Butternut Squash, Mushrooms, Thyme & Parmesan
Serves 6 to 8
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 to 3 celery stalks, diced
1 cup chopped mushrooms (a mix of cremini, hen of woods etc)
1 1/2 cups farro
water (or low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth)
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh thyme
Parmesan cheese for serving, about 1/2 cup grated
In a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, add butternut squash, onion and celery and saute for about 3 minutes. Add in mushrooms and farro and cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Cover farro mixture with water or broth (or half and half) by just under one inch. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring once, until all liquid has evaporated. Fluff with a fork and let stand for 5 minutes. Finish with grated Parmesan and a little additional cracked pepper.