Pan-Fry

Winter Squash filled with Farro Risotto with Chanterelles, Sage and Walnuts

January  5, 2012
Author Notes

We eat this cool weather dish in its original semi-vegetarian version and also with the addition of slivered duck or sliced duck sausage. If you can't find small squash, use a bigger squash and cut it in half to serve. —LE BEC FIN

  • Serves 2
Ingredients
  • 2 1- 1 1/2 pound buttercup or kabocha squash
  • 3-4 cups warm water
  • 1 cup farro
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 2/3 cup dry vermouth
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or any other stock), heated
  • 3/4-1 cups Parmesan cheese, ground fine
  • 1/2 pound chanterelles,cleaned, sliced and sauteed in oil or unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, about 2 inches long
  • canola oil
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Prepare squash: Cut off the top third of each squash and set aside for future use. Scoop out the seeds and fibers in each squash. Turn them upside down and place in a baking pan or shallow casserole holding 1 1/2 inches of warm water. Roast in 400 degree oven until a skewer easily pierces the flesh. While squash are cooking, prepare the farro. When squash are done, remove pan from the oven. Remove squash and turn rightside up in an oiled baking pan.
  2. Prepare Risotto: Soak farro in cold water 20 minutes. Drain, rinse. Bring to boil 8 cups water in covered medium saucepan. uncover and add farro. Simmer 20 minutes, drain and rinse.
  3. Melt 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil. Add shallots and sage; sautee a few minutes until shallots are translucent and not browned. Add farro and vermouth. Simmer until almost all liquid evaporates, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add hot chicken broth 1 cup at a time and simmer until liquid is absorbed and farro is just tender, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes total. Stir in Parmesan, walnuts,and 1 tablespoon butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep partially covered to retain heat.
  4. Heat a shallow pool of canola oil to 375 degrees in a small pan. Fry sage leaves, turning once, for 1-2 minutes minutes until crisp; drain on paper towels and pat dry.
  5. Fill each squash with farro risotto, leaving 1/2 inch edge of squash. Bake squash in 350 degree oven until farro filling is hot when tested with a skewer. Remove from oven. Top each squash with a chevron of 2 fried sage leaves and serve.

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I am always on the lookout for innovative recipes, which is why I am just ga-ga over my recently- discovered Food52 with its amazingly innovative and talented contributors. My particular eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, and cardamom. I am also finally indulging in learning about food history; it gives me no end of delight to learn how and when globe artichokes came to the U.S., and how and when Jerusalem artichokes went from North America to Europe. And that the Americas enabled other cuisines to become glorious. I mean where would those countries be without: Corn, Tomatoes, Chiles,Peanuts, Dried Beans, Pecans, Jerusalem Artichokes??! While I am an omnivore, I am, perhaps more than anything, fascinated by the the world of carbohydrates, particularly the innovative diversity of uses for beans, lentils and grains in South Indian and other cuisines. Baking gives me much pleasure, and of all the things I wish would change in American food, it is that we would develop an appreciation for sweet foods that are not cloyingly sweet, and that contain more multigrains. (Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a country of great bakeries instead of the drek that we have in the U.S.?!) I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me. I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse write me and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.