Roasted Butternut Squash Farrotto

It feels like I’ve been in every part of California in just the last few weeks.   Yes, work has kept me busy driving and flying all over this vast state.   While I feel a little run down from all of this travel every now and then, overall I really enjoy what I do.   As a treat to myself for the travel I’ll occasionally pick up a new magazine to read on a flight.  Sometimes I like to catch up on celebrity gossip, but most of the time I’m drawn to the cooking magazines.

Recently I picked up the October edition of Bon Appétit.  I just couldn’t resist the Apple Torte with Hazelnut Crust pictured on the front.  Usually when I read cooking magazines I find one to two recipes that I want to try.  In this Bon Appétit, I was surprised to find several.  There is a whole section on decadent maple desserts and as soon as I can get my hands on some maple sugar, I’ll be in the kitchen whipping up some of those treats.

But in the meantime, I went to work on another recipe featured in the magazine’s section called, “American’s Foodiest Town.”   It looked delicious, and I had most of the ingredients on hand, so why not?  It turned out great, and so I’m definitely hoping my travels will take me to the award-winning town of Boulder, Colorado.  I’d love to eat at the restaurant where this recipe came from!

Roasted Butternut Squash Farrotto

Adapted from Bon Appétit, October 2010

The magazine explains that this dish is a twist on classic risotto—instead of using risotto rice, the main grain used is farro.

Yogurt sauce

  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups semi-pearled farro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 small red chilies, minced
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 cup cooked or canned garbanzo beans
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh cilantro

In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, cumin, lemon juice and minced garlic.  Cover and chill.

Preheat the oven to 450°.   Spread cubed squash on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.   Season squash with salt and pepper and roast until tender and golden brown in some places.

While the squash is roasting, cook the farro according to the directions on the package.  When the farro is tender, drain and set aside to cool.

Slice a quarter of the red onion into thin slices and reserve for garnish.  Dice the remaining 3/4 of the onion.   Heat about 2 tablespoons on oil in a large pot or skillet.  Add garlic and chili and cook for 1 minute.  Add diced onions and garbanzo beans and cook until onions begin to soften.   Stir in the farro and roasted squash.  Remove from heat and season with cumin, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

To serve, garnish the farrotto with the yogurt, sliced onion and cilantro.

Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:

Recipe Report Card Notes About Recipe Ratings

Tasty Rating


Five Chefs (Gourmet Fare!)

This dish had all of the essential flavors and textures—tart lemon, creamy yogurt, slightly bitter cumin, sweet roasted squash, toothsome nutty farro, and a spicy chilies.

Easy Rating


Three Easy Chairs (Average Difficulty)

Peeling and cutting up a butternut squash can be a little challenging, but semi-pearled farro cooks pretty quickly and the rest of the dish also comes together relatively quickly.

Healthy Rating


Four Apples (Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise)

A fairly healthy recipe with lots of vegetables and grains.  Go easy on the creamy yogurt sauce though—there is a good amount of saturated fat in whole milk yogurt.

Green Rating


Four Leaves (Mother Earth Approved)

Most of the ingredients were organic and all of the veggies were local.
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3 comments to Roasted Butternut Squash Farrotto

  • This salad is ideal for me especially now that I try to lose couple of kilos.

  • Kate

    This looks amazing. I’ve never cooked with farro so it will be a new adventure. I’ve been looking at your blog and photos for a while and really like your posts. How do you like your mezzaluna? I am thinking about getting one and wondered where yours is from. Many of the ones I’ve seen have a BIG, thick cutting bowl and I’d like something more storage friendly. Would you let us know?
    Thanks for another great recipe!

  • sally

    Hi Kate! Glad you are enjoying the blog. I hope you will try cooking with farro and will let me know how it goes. My mezzaluna came from Crate & Barrel. I’m not sure if they still sell them, but the cutting bowl is definitly slim and easy to store. Good luck!

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