Risotto-Style Farro with Caramelized Onions, Squash, and Kale

This weekend I went from being completely anti-Christmas (I did not listen to a single Christmas song until Saturday) to a little too holiday-ready given the fact that it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. I blame Michael’s, where I bought some holiday baking supplies…

I just started a Holiday Baking board on Pinterest and I plan on adding a LOT more to it.

Michael’s just so happens to share a parking lot with BevMo, so of course we had to peruse the beer section. We ended up with a few things, including Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout.

This is so flavorful it makes Guinness seem like water by comparison(I’m sorry Guinness, I love you, but you can’t really compete here…)
We drank this while watching the last Harry Potter Movie (yeah, we’re probably the last two people on Earth to see it. I just didn’t want the series to end!)

Sunday morning I was supposed to run a 9 mile race but there was thunder and the house was way too cozy. I finally peeled myself off the couch at about 11:30, when the threat of getting struck by lightning seemed to have passed. It was still cold and rainy but the run was good.

10 miles at 8:48 min/mile. It was my first double digit run since the Boston Marathon! I definitely still have a lot of work to do on both speed and endurance, but it feels good to be putting in some decent mileage again. I ended this week with 28 miles, a total I’m really happy with.

This was supposed to be a quick and easy dinner: Quinoa, squash, red onion, and kale (basically the flavors from this pizza in a healthier form). But then I realized I didn’t have red onions. And I wanted farro instead of quinoa, and I had some white wine, and I wanted to caramelize some onions. Fortunately I happened upon this recipe and it was fabulous.

Risotto-Style Farro with Caramelized Onions, Squash, and Kale


  • 5 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium butternut squash, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • salt to taste
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Toss the squash cubes with 2 tbsp oil and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender.
  2. While the squash is roasting, caramelize the onions. Heat the remaining 3 tbsp of oil in a wide skillet over medium and add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 35-40 minutes or until the onions are brown. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil in the pan.
  3. Saute the kale in the oil remaining from the onions until wilted, about 6 minutes.
  4. Heat the butter in a large saucepan. Add the farro and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until liquid is nearly entirely absorbed.
  5. Add the vegetable broth and water, 1/2 a cup at a time, stirring after each addition until liquid is absorbed. When all the liquid has been added and the farro is tender, add salt to taste.
  6. Stir in onions, squash, and kale and cook until heated through.
  7. Divide among bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

(adapted from I Heart Yum)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

11 comments to Risotto-Style Farro with Caramelized Onions, Squash, and Kale

  • Jen

    cate – congrats on your first postpartum double digit run! that beer sounds delicious!

  • Nice 10 miler! and that dish looks wonderful. Does the farro stay chewy at all, or does it get creamy like arborio rice in a regular risotto?

  • Cate

    Beth – It definitely stays a little chewier than normal risotto.

  • This looks great! Do you think I could I sub wheat berries for the farro? No shame in early planning for Christmas, I say! :)

  • Yum! I love using alternative grains in risotto! Though I can only ever find spelt instead of farro. Ah well.

    I am quite the stout drinker if you ever want suggestions! I used to be all Guinness until I really got into beers. Old Rasputin is definitely a good one. Have you tried Great Divide’s Yeti? Especially the Oak Aged. Oh man. It’s one of my favs.

  • Cate

    Janet – I think wheat berries would be great! I’m not sure if you’d have to adjust the amount of liquid/cooking time though.

    Julie – I’ve never tried that, but it sounds awesome! I’ll look for it!

  • 1) You can’t start holiday-ing before Thanksgiving!
    2) You and Mike (and I guess you can bring Ellie) should head up to Mendocino/Fort Bragg to visit North Coast Brewery. The Old Rasputin is good, but they have a bunch of other really great beers too. We actually have a bottle of their Old Stock Ale in our fridge right now.

  • Cate

    Kate – I have NEVER gotten started on holiday stuff this early before! But Mike was all about it so I went with it…
    We definitely plan on making a trip up to Mendocino one of these days…for the beautiful coast AND for the beer!

  • Hi! Okay, after drooling over this post, which I always do btw, I had to remember to give you this! A Liebster Award! (stunned silence I’m sure). Please come check out my nomination list. I hope you accept and share the love. Thanks!

  • I LOVE RISOTTO!!!! I need to try this :)

  • Krysten

    Made this on Saturday night…it was AWESOME! Great recipe! Btw, a friend of ours has gotten us hooked on Abita beer (from New Orleans)…suuuuper good. Also, D is a big fan of Delirium Belgian beer. We got their holiday beer this last weekend and it was really good as well.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

my foodgawker gallery