I love this time of year. I’m ready after the humid, muggy summer to breathe in some fresh crisp air. I long for my sweaters and log fires to warm the evenings. With the falling leaves comes the desire of using the abundance of fall flavors such as sage, pumpkins, squash and apples.
Did I mention I love fall?
I’m obsessed with apples right now. I brought several different types of apples home with me the other day from the market, preparing for an all out apple fest. I dove in, ready to conquer the sweet to the savory. The only thing I was missing was the road side apple cider stand.
So I have my apples, I love the fall and now I have to do something with all of it. Well, that’s easy. I decided to make this combination of a couple of recipes I had seen… it was everything the autumn season is all about. Farro Risotto with Apples, Squash, Kale and Sage. My husband is loving me so much right now. This meal is on his diet plan since it’s fairly healthy, but it’s also got flavor, texture and comfort, and it doesn’t taste like it’s a diet plan.
I paired this with crispy chicken thighs and an apple cider gravy which will be coming in my next post, but for now try this out. It’s in the top ten of my husband’s all time favorites, so I think you will like it.
Put on a sweater and fill your belly with the taste of fall. It’s a yum on the food meter!
Farro Risotto with Roasted Squash, Apple and Kale
- 1 cup diced butternut squash
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup farro
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 2 Tablespoons diced bacon
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 dice and peeled Granny Smith apple
- 1 cup chopped kale
- 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped sage leaves
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss squash with 1 Tablespoon olive oil and cook for approximately 7-10 minutes or until squash starts to brown. Remove and set aside.
Soak the farro in cold water to cover for 20-30 minutes. Drain and combine with the chicken stock in a medium heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce the heat to the farro is bubbling gently; cook until just tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain the farro over a bowl so that you can reserve the cooking liquid and set both aside in a warm place.
In the same saucepan, cook bacon until mostly crisp. Add butter and oil and melt slightly and then add shallots, and garlic and cook about 3 more minutes or until fragrant.
Pour in the wine and turn up the heat a little and simmer until the wine has reduced by about two-thirds, another 5 minutes or so.
Add the faro, the apples, and squash and enough of the reserved chicken stock to get a slightly creamy consistency.
Add the kale, sage leaves and more Parmesan and/or salt if necessary and several grinds of black pepper.
Serve immediately or cover and reheat gently before serving, adding more liquid if necessary.