Fall cooking would not be complete with out butternut squash. It has become one of my very favorite vegetables over the last few years and it’s a Thanksgiving side dish staple. The sweet aroma of the butternut squash caramelizing in the oven, combined with the fresh tangy flavor of toasted cumin seeds and lemon in Greek yogurt dressing, makes for a delicious combination. Plus it’s fun to try cooking a new grain like Farro.
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice, divided
- 3 garlic cloves; 1 minced, 2 thinly sliced
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled butternut squash
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cups semi-pearled farro
- 2 tablespoons chopped Cayenne chile or red jalapeño chile with seeds, divided
- 3/4 cup 1/2-inch cubes red onion plus 1/4 cup thinly sliced
- 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Toast cumin seeds in small skillet over medium heat until fragrant and beginning to smoke, 4 to 5 minutes. Cool; grind in spice grinder. Transfer 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin to small bowl. Mix in yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place squash in large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil; toss to coat. Spread squash out on sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook farro in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Drain farro and cool.
- Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced garlic and 1 tablespoon chile; sauté 1 minute. Add onion cubes and garbanzo beans; sauté 1 minute. Add roasted squash and cooked farro and toss to blend. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin and 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice; toss to blend. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.
- Mound farro mixture on 4 plates. Spoon yogurt mixture over. Sprinkle with cilantro, sliced onion, and remaining chile. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve.