Most of us don’t have the luxury of taking regular strolls through the food markets of Tuscany in late September, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Italian autumnal flavors at home. This bowl showcases the bounty of an Italian harvest with crunchy, bitter radicchio and sweet roasted butternut squash over a base of nutty, pleasantly chewy farro (an ancient Mediterranean grain beloved in Italy). Gorgeous ripe figs give the bowl a honeyed sweetness that’s balanced by the piquant Dijon–balsamic vinegar dressing. In keeping with the theme, we combine our homemade Italian sausage seasoning with plant-based meat and top each bowl with the resulting sausagey, savory crumbles. Any type of fresh fig will work in this recipe. You can substitute 1½ cups seedless grapes, quartered, for the figs, if desired.
Farro Bowl with Butternut Squash, Sausage, and Radicchio [Vegan]
- 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2‑inch pieces (7 cups)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon table salt, divided, plus salt for cooking farro
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
- 1 1/2 cups whole farro
- 12 ounces plant-based ground meat
- 1 recipe Sweet Italian Sausage Seasoning (page 11)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 head radicchio (10 ounces), cored and cut into 1‑inch pieces
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 8 fresh figs, halved and sliced thin
- 2 ounces plant-based cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup) (optional)
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toss squash with 1 tablespoon oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and spread in even layer on prepared sheet. Roast until well browned and tender, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking.
- Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add farro and 1 tablespoon salt and cook until tender, 15 to 30 minutes. Drain well.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12‑inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add ground meat and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until firm crumbles form, about 3 minutes. Stir in Italian sausage seasoning and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds; transfer to bowl.
- Whisk vinegar, mustard, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and remaining ½ teaspoon pepper together in bowl. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in remaining 6 tablespoons oil until combined. Toss radicchio, parsley, and farro with half of vinaigrette to coat, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among individual serving bowls, then top with meat mixture; squash; figs; and blue cheese, if using. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette. Serve.