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Farro Risotto With Acorn Squash And Kale

This is a very easy, delicious dish but requires some time for it all to come together. The toughest part is peeling the acorn squash. What works for me is a super sharp peeler. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp. (Save the seeds and roast them like you do pumpkin seeds!)  Peel as much of the peel off as you can then cut the squash in its grooves into strips. You then will be able to peel the rest of it.  Do not attempt to eat the peel as it is bitter. The squash can be roasted in advance. See note below. 

4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 acorn squash, peeled, halved, seeded, cut into 1/2" cubes *see note
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 bunch kale, center stems removed, leaves torn (more or less can be added depending on your liking) 
1 Tbsp coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup uncooked farro
1/4 cup diced white onion
1 small garlic clove, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup dry white wine or vegetable/chicken stock
3 cups vegetable stock mixed with 3 cups water, warmed
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
~ Preheat oven to 375°F
~ Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a medium saucepan
~ Add squash, season lightly with salt and pepper, and toss to coat
~ Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, turning squash every 10 minutes, until
    tender, 30-35 minutes

~ Cook kale in a large pot of boiling salted water until wilted, about 2 minutes.
~ Transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool; drain. 

~ Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat
~ Add farro; toss to coat and toast over medium-low heat. Put aside in a bowl.
~ Melt 2 Tbsp butter in same skillet over medium heat
~ Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes
~ Add garlic; stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes
~ Add wine; increase heat to high and stir until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes
~ Add farro and 1/2 cup warm stock mixture
~ Stir until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes
~ Continue cooking, adding broth by 1/2 cupfuls and allowing broth to be absorbed between
    additions, until farro is tender, about 1 hour

~ Add kale, squash, remaining 1 Tbsp butter and cheese
~ Stir gently until butter and cheese are melted and vegetables are heated through, about 2 min
~ Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed

* Acorn squash can be roasted the day before and refrigerated.  Allow it to come to room temperature as you cook your dish

* More liquid may be needed….just mix vegetable stock and water in equal increments and warm slightly prior to adding it to the farro

* Butternut squash or pumpkin can be substituted for acorn squash

* Spinach could possibly be subsituted for kale


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