But, one of my first thoughts, natch, was: I really, really wish NASA would stop obsessing about “Earthlike” planets. Have we no ambition? This place is great and all. I like dirt and the ocean and fish and everything. But things could be better. For example: earthquakes. Wouldn’t the ideal planetary surface have much less in the way of tectonic plates and much more in the way of plush rising bread dough? Think about it. That would be worth a 600-lightyear-long trip, perhaps. Although I suggest that we disinvite this one.
This is a lot of outer space talk for a food blog. I sorry. So let me awkwardly segue: Perhaps my ideal planet would also sprout forth butternut squash premixed with onion, walnuts, thyme and goat cheese?
Yes, yes it would. Don’t you want to put all of this in your face?
Especially after it’s all roasted and caramelized?
We add farro for substance. It makes you full, strong and happy. Goat cheese? No big deal. It’s only there to make the whole thing perfect. You could substitute feta if goat cheese isn’t your jam.
Butternut Squash Farro
(recipe from 101 Cookbooks)
1 1/2 cups farro, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons kosher salt
5 cups water
3 cups butternut squash, diced (roughly 1/2 of a medium-sized squash)
1 large red onion, cut into 1/8ths
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 375. On the stovetop, bring the farro, salt and water to a boil in a large pot. Lower the heat and simmer for about 30-45 minutes to an hour, until the farro is tender (about the texture of al dente pasta). If you’re using semi-pearled farro, this’ll take about half the time. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, mix the squash, onion, thyme, balsamic and 3 tablespoons of olive oil and place in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Tossing and turning every 10 minutes or so to ensure even browning, roast the vegetables until caramelized and tender, roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit before tossing together with the farro and the other 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Crumble in the goat cheese, fold in the walnuts, season with salt and pepper if you’d like, and serve.