Monday, October 18, 2010


The cool autumn weather is here, and that means it's time to start indulging into some warm comfort food! This decadent vegetarian dish is so hearty, you won't even miss the meat! Nutty roasted broccoli combined with the slightly sweet taste of the butternut squash is paired perfectly with creamy, savory brie. Serve it as a main dish or a side dish, and win over the hearts, and stomachs, of all.

1 lb of butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4" cubes
1 head of broccoli, cut into bite sized florets
1/2 small onion, small diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups farro
7-8 oz. of brie, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained/squeezed of moisture
2 tbs. parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil

-toss cubed squash and broccoli florets in about 2 tbs. olive oil
-salt and pepper the vegetables, toss to coat
-place the vegetables on a baking sheet in a single layer and cook for 20-25 minutes in a 400 degree oven, until vegetables start to brown
-meanwhile, put the farro in a large pot, cover with water (about 1 inch above the farro)
-bring farro water to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low, cook for 20 minutes, drain
-in a medium sized skillet, saute the garlic and onions in 1/2 tbs. olive oil over medium-low heat
-after 15-2o minutes of sauteing the garlic and onions, add the chicken broth and brie
-keep temperature low, allow brie to start to melt
-put farro back in cooking pot
-add broth and cheese mixture, roasted vegetables, spinach, and parmesan to the farro
-stir until farro is completely coated with cheese
-serve with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper for a little added heat, or paprika for no heat

serves 4 as a main dish

I created and perfected this meal after a beautiful autumn weekend in Brevard, North Carolina, when the butternut squash was bountiful!

-Delicious for a main dish, and perfect for a side dish as well.
-Pour into a casserole dish, refrigerate, and warm in the oven for eating later (easy to take to your next pot-luck dinner too!).
-You may need to roast the vegetables using 2 baking sheets if it won't all fit onto one large one.
-If you buy a whole butternut squash, cut off both ends, peel away the thick skin (until you see a bright orange color!), scoop out seeds (like a pumpkin), and then cube. HOWEVER a lot of grocery stores now sell already peeled, seeded, and cut fresh butternut squash in their produce section- so take the shortcut if you can! You will just have to cut it down to the 1/4" pieces.
-Want to boost the protein level? Add some cubed cooked chicken or a can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans.
-If you do buy a whole squash, save the seeds! Separate them from the strings and bits of squash, rinse and dry, toss with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place on a baking sheet. Cook at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes (like you would pumpkin seeds). Use them to garnish your farro, or just eat them as a tasty snack!
-You can use ALL of the brie, even the powdery-white outside; no need to cut it off!
-Can’t find brie? Try melting in 7-8 oz. of cream cheese, goat cheese, or camembert
-I have also used goat's milk brie before- just as tasty!
-If you simply can't find a butternut squash, try the recipe with a yellow summer squash, a zucchini, or even a sweet potato!
-Leftovers? Mold them into 'cakes' and pan fry, serve with an egg for breakfast
-Can't find farro? Toss with some orzo, Israeli cous cous, brown rice, or pasta!

[whole butternut squash]

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