curried butternut squash over farro

Posted on March 12, 2014

I don’t believe in diets. I think diets ruin food for you and for everyone you eat with. Instead I prefer to live by Julia Child’s philosophy—everything in moderation, including moderation. Life is just too short, and you only get one of ’em. But, I do believe that your body will tell you what it needs if you take the time to listen. After an epic weekend of eating with Jordan’s family (pizza at Pizzeria Delfina, followed up by cocktails at Hard Water, followed up by House of Prime Rib, topped off with brunch at Nopa), my body was screaming for some vegetables.

I love vegetables, and though it might be blasphemous to say so seeing as some folks around here consider bacon a food group, vegetables are probably the only food I could tolerate eating weeks on end. We have salad (or slaw or sautéed greens) with dinner every night, but salad as a meal just doesn’t cut it when you bike upwards of 20 miles a day like Jordan does. Plus, when you write a blog called The Answer is Always Pork, you can’t get away with hawking sissy vegetarian food. This dish is my compromise between the need to detox and the need to fuel my handsome nerdlover’s brain and body.

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So here we have a salad that does not mess around. Curry powder takes butternut squash to a wonderful warm and spicy place. Farro is one of the best grains out there—it blows quinoa out of the water; nutty and chewy, you don’t miss meat. Top it all with a lemony-yogurt sauce that adds just the right amount of brightness and you’ve got yourself a wining dinner.

It’s also all kinds of flexible. Instead of butternut, you could use whatever squash you’ve got lying around. Or heck, roast up some carrots or parsnips or celeriac. You can serve it hot, serve it at room temperature, serve it cold. Anything goes. This salad is your oyster. Now doesn’t my detox sound like fun?

Curried Butternut Squash & Farro with Lemon-Yogurt Sauce

For the squash
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon Indian curry powder (depending on how hot and fresh your curry is)
1 tablespoon olive oilFor the yogurt sauce
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 lemon juiced
salt and pepper

1 cup farro (I like Trader Joe’s Quick Cook Farro – it cooks in 10 minutes and has great texture)
cilantro, for serving

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Preheat your oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel and cut your butternut squash into cubes. Toss with some olive oil, salt and curry powder and spread evenly on a baking sheet. I’d taste your curry powder—mine was very mild and I needed to use quite a bit to actually taste it when it was put up against the flavor of the squash. You can taste a piece of squash part of the way through cooking and if it is too mild, sprinkle on some more curry. You want this squash to pack a punch. Bake 30 – 40 minutes, until the squash is tender.

Meanwhile, mix the yogurt with lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.  While the squash is baking, bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook the farro according to the package directions, drain and toss with a little olive oil.

To serve, mound some farro up on a plate. Scoop on a healthy helping of squash and top with the lemon yogurt. Or throw it all in a tupperware and eat it like a heathen with your hands in the park because you forgot a fork. Either way, enjoy!

-Emily

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