February 13, 2010

Butternut Squash & Baby Kale over Farro

I cooked only once this past week (on Wednesday) and, all modesty aside, I have to say with pretty good success. My Tuesday grocery delivery included some pretty fresh-looking broccoli and baby kale that I couldn't wait to put to good use along with a medium butternut squash from a few weeks ago.

I know from experience that the contrast between the sweetness of the squash and the earthiness of the kale works pretty well - I had experimented with this combo, which served as the ingredients of a delicious pasta sauce, a while back.

Since I was looking for a no fuss, quick meal, I started by steaming the squash. I then tossed it with a bit of honey, sea salt, coarsely ground pepper, thyme and rosemary and put it under the broiler for 10-15 minutes.

I forgot to mention that I threw some faro (one of the great ancient grains!) in the rice cooker even before starting on the squash:

I figured that because the broccoli were so fresh, it did not make sense to process them too much. It occurred to me that I can take advantage of the steam that was still coming out of the pot where I had steamed the squash so I put in the broccoli in there (heat was off) for a few minutes to soften them a bit. As you can see in the picture below they appear raw with the green color still appearing quite vibrant. The dressing was simple - a bit of honey, red wine (pinot noir, to be precise) vinegar, high grade EVVO, salt and black pepper.

While the squash was in the oven, I sauteed some minced, leftover teryaki chicken meat balls with some garlic, hot chili pepper flakes and olive oil. In the meantime, I also cleaned and roughly chopped the baby kale.

The kale didn't take too long too cook (again preserving the vibrant green color was of utmost importance).

Once the kale was done I added the nicely roasted squash with charred and caramelized edges.I mixed everything well to integrate the flavors and proceeded to spoon the cooked faro into the bowls. A little trick that I like to use to kick the taste up a notch is stirring a bit of butter and parmesan into the grains for extra je-ne-sais-quoi. An unintended side effect - they seem to photograph better this way too (compare vs. rice cooker picture).

...I topped the farro with the kale+squash and happily chowed it all down.


  1. Good job, Marulka! Since I have the same products from the Farm, that is an excellent idea how to utilize them all :)

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