In this farro recipe, acorn squash is roasted and stuffed with the grain, which has been cooked and mixed with other add-ins. The result is a hearty plant-based side dish or light main attraction that highlights accents of the fall and winter seasons.
Nothing says fall and winter quite like squash and warm whole-grain recipes. In addition to its inherent deliciousness, squash is loaded with vitamins and minerals, inexpensive, low in calories, and versatile enough to continue to surprise and entertain the palate. Cooked whole grains offer the warmth and bulk necessary to comfort and fuel you through the cold.
Originating in the Fertile Crescent, farro has been found in the tombs of Egyptian kings. Today, it is widely used in Italian cuisine and is beginning to take hold in the United States. Farro brings extra chew and texture to this dish, while fennel, garlic, and herbs add a welcome depth and crave-worthy twist.
In a ¼ cup serving of farro, there are 200 calories, 7 grams of dietary fiber, 7 grams of protein, and 10 percent of your recommended daily value of iron. Like many other whole grains, farro is relatively underrated, perceived by many as difficult or time-consuming to cook as well as too rough and heavy in texture and bulk. However, casting off farro too quickly would be a huge mistake. It’s a diamond in the rough (realm of whole grains), and if you are careful about how you purchase and handle farro, it may just be your next best go-to grain of choice. Soon you’ll be using it daily in a hot breakfast cereals, in soups and salads, in side dishes, and even in desserts.
When you are shopping for farro, you can either purchase the whole-grain variety or the semi-pearled variety. The whole grain variety will required soaking overnight in water so that it cooks to a soft, edible finish, while the semi-pearled version can be cooked right away. It’s important to note, however, that the whole-grain variety is higher in fiber and nutrients, like vitamin B3 and zinc.
Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed Farro Recipe
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup farro
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- 2 cups raw spinach
- 2 ounces feta cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slice the acorn squash crosswise in half and remove all the seeds with a spoon. Use clean hands to rub 1 tablespoon of coconut oil across the interior and exterior of each acorn squash half. Sprinkle the interior of each with salt and pepper. Put both halves on a baking sheet, cut side up, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until tender.
While the acorn squash is roasting, cook the farro according to package instructions. In a pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the garlic, shallots, and fennel. Cook until tender – about 6-8 minutes. Add the cooked farro to the pan and stir until well combined. Add the spinach and stir until it has wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
When the acorn squash has cooked through, remove the baking dish from the oven and let the squash halves rest for 5 minutes. Spoon the mixture into the acorn squash halves and coat the tops with the crumbed feta cheese. Serve immediately!
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Baked Acorn Squash Image from Shutterstock