I’m not nuts about nuts in savory dishes, particularly pistachios. Love them sprinkled over crostatas and tortes and pressed into pie crusts, but they’re kind of a bummer elsewhere. (Like the ubiquitous beet, goat cheese and pistachio salad. Or with Brussels sprouts? Enough already.) But nut oils, that’s another matter. They can add just a hint of nuttiness without hitting you over the head with it. My friend Amy gave me a bottle of Jean-Marc Montegottero virgin pistachio oil, which I’d been jonesing to try. This is the Maserati of nut oils, let me tell you. Amy likes it over seared scallops, shrimp and halibut. Last night was my first go-round with it. I drizzled over a hearty and heavenly mix of farro (a pleasantly chewy and nutty grain), roasted squash, red onions and lamb sausage with feta. Side note: there was no way I was going to get my husband to eat this without some decoy sausage thrown into the mix. Lamb worked with all the mediterranean flavors. The result was totally decadent and the oil added a rich pistachio note that goes from zero to 60 in one spoonful. Thank you, Amy!
Farro with Roasted Squash, Red Onion, Feta, Lamb Sausage and Pistachio Oil
1 cup farro, rinsed and drained
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
½ red onion, chopped
Fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 lamb sausages, removed from their casings
Feta cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium saucepan, bring broth to slow boil, add farro and reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer for 40-60 minutes (depending on whether you have semi-pearled farro – check package and cook accordingly). Meanwhile, add squash, onions and some chopped thyme to a bowl, then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and then toss. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven 20 minutes. While veggies are roasting, cook lamb sausage in cast-iron skillet.
Toss farro, veggies, sausage and some feta and divide into two deep bowls. Drizzle each with pistachio oil. Serve with an earthy red wine, like a Pinot Noir or Cote du Rhone.