Butternut Farro Risotto | Wine Enthusiast
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Butternut Farro Risotto

Adapted from Andrew d’Ambrosi, founding chef, Avant Garden, New York City


1 butternut squash
2 cups farro
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon roasted garlic
1 tablespoon chili oil
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sage pesto (recipe below)
Fried sage leaves, for garnish
Sage Pesto:
2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup whole sage leaves (lightly packed)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
½ cup toasted pine nuts


For Risotto:

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Peel and seed squash. Cut into 2-inch pieces. Set aside. Toast farro on sheet tray for 10 minutes. Transfer to medium saucepan. Add 8 cups water. Boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook farro until soft, about 25 minutes. Drain well and set aside, reserving liquid.

Boil 4 cups salted water in large saucepan. Add squash. Cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain well. Transfer to food processor or blender. Add syrup, garlic and chili oil. Purée until smooth. Set aside.

When ready to serve, combine 2 cups cooked farro, ¾ cup butternut squash purée, ½ cup reserved farro cooking liquid, 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan. Salt to taste. Over medium heat, stir until it has the consistency of slightly loose porridge. (If necessary, add cooking liquid or farro.) Spoon into warm shallow bowl. Add dollop of sage pesto on top (recipe below) and garnish with fried sage leaves. Serve immediately. Serves 2.

For Sage Pesto:

In small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil to 325˚F. Fry sage leaves in batches until just crisp, about 30 seconds. Drain on paper towels. Reserve several leaves for garnish. Pulse remaining leaves and other ingredients in a food processor until well blended, but with some texture.

Pair It

Château Ollieux Romanis 2014 Cuvée Classique (Corbières)

The ripe red-fruit aromas and flavors of this red wine from the Languedoc region in southern France complement the sweetness of the squash, while its terroir-driven herbal notes of garrigue harmonize with the earthy vegetable, sage and farro flavors.