Thanksgiving is one week away and some of you might still be working on your menus. Here is a fabulous side dish idea that is super festive and can be made in advance.
For those of you that are not familiar with farro - it is an ancient grain and there are three types - farro piccolo (einkorn) , farro media (emmer), and farro grande (spelt). Emmer is the most common one found in the United States. I used farro piccolo (it has been cultivated for over 10,000 years) sourced from Anson Mills which is the only US grower of this specific type. But have no fear, you can find farro easily at your neighborhood Whole Foods or Trader Joes as well. It is a lovely grain - super hearty, nutty, and slightly chewy.
Pecan & Date Farro Stuffed Delicata Squash
3 Delicata Squash, halved and seeded
1 cup uncooked farro piccolo (or other farro), makes about 4 cups cooked
3/4 cup Pecans, chopped
1/2 cup Medjool Dates, chopped
1/4 cup Dried Currants
1/3 cup Scallions, chopped
1/8 cup Parsley, chopped fine
1/2 cup Maple Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1. Heat oven to 400. Place halved squash on parchment lined sheet tray and rub with oil (coconut, grapeseed or olive) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast open face down for about 30 minutes until inside is softened and slightly caramelized.
2. Cook the farro according to its packaging, drain, and place in a large bowl to cool.
3. Mix in the dates, nuts, scallions, currants, parsley, and vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Once the squash is cooked, remove from oven and let cool slightly. Fill each hollowed out squash half with the farro mixture. This dish is fabulous served warm or at room temperature.
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Whole Grain Mustard
1/4 cup Maple Vinegar*
1/2 cup Grapeseed oil
1. Whisk together mustards and vinegar.
2. Slowly whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper.
*You can find maple vinegar at some whole foods or specialty stores, also on Amazon. In a pinch, you can cheat it by mixing a smidge of grade A maple syrup into some good sherry vinegar.