Farro risotto with spiced acorn squash and sumac yogurt

Farro is one of my absolute favorite grains– its nutty, pleasantly chewy, and packed with protein and nutrients. Here, I cook the farro like a typical risotto in a homemade mushroom stock. The result, topped with roasted squash and sumac yogurt sauce, feels decidedly decadent.

Serves 3


For the squash: 

  • ½ acorn squash, cut length wise, “guts” scooped out, and sliced into half rings. Keep skin on. 
  • 2-3 tsp spices of choice (I like ras el hanout and berbere)
  • Oil
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Lots of salt and pepper to taste

For the farro:

  • 1.25 cup farro
  • 4-5 cups mushroom stock. You can make one quickly from dried mushrooms and water, simmer for 45 mins to one hour. 
  • 2-3 tbs olive oil (enough to coat your pan)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tbs mixed herbs, tarragon and sage recommended. 
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan, or more to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the sumac yogurt 

  • ½ cup whole fat yogurt or labneh, greek or icelandic style
  • 1+ tbs sumac 
  • ½ tsp lemon zest 
  • 1+ tbs of water

Additional toppings

  • ⅓ cup Pine nuts, toasted
  1. Preheat the oven to 375
  2. Toss squash in enough oil to coat, spices, sugar, and lots of salt and pepper.
  3. Roast until tender, 25-35 minutes
  4. Mix together the sumac, yogurt, and lemon zest, and add enough cold water until it gets a saucy consistency (still thick, but not as thick as straight yogurt. You wanna be able to drizzle). 
  5. Heat up your mushroom stock and keep just below simmering. 
  6. In a separate wide bottomed pan, add the oil and heat over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and saute for a few minutes. 
  7. Add the farro and saute for 21 minute. 
  8. Add the white wine and simmer until almost absorbed, 3-4 minutes 
  9. Over med heat, add 1 cup of warm stock at a time, stirring regularly. Add a new cup of stock when the last cup is almost absorbed. Continue to do this until the farro is pleasantly chewy and tender. You might not need all of the stock, but the final product should resemble risotto, not too liquidy, but definitely not dry. It should be suspended in a thick, starchy, liquid. I’ll start seasoning mid way and continue to season as I taste. This whole process can take anywhere from 30-50 minutes. 
  10. Add the butter, parmesan, and herbs, and simmer until combined and remove from heat, Start with just 2 tbs and taste and adjust as you would like. 
  11. Taste seasoning and adjust as needed. 
  12. Top the farro with the roasted squash and drizzle the sumac yogurt sauce over everything. Top with toasted pine nuts. 
  13. I would not judge if you added a jammy egg or anything 
  14. Enjoy!