Fall Farro Salad with Butternut Squash

Greetings my friends! Before we even get to today’s awesome fall recipe, I just wanted to quickly say thank you for bearing with me right now.

We are approaching week five of what was supposed to be a two week kitchen reno, and to be completely honest, I am losing my mind. Bah! Combine that with the fact that we can’t get a straight answer as to when it will actually be done, and you are looking at a recipe for disaster! <— Ha! Catch that little pun??

Filled with tender butternut squash, kale and crunchy walnuts, this fall farro salad is perfect for the season! Healthy, simple and an excellent main or side dish!

But. On the flip side, I am incredibly thankful that our particular neighborhood got super lucky with Hurricane Matthew and only wound up with some really minor damage. A lot of the other towns in our area didn’t fare so well. It’s just super sad and crazy how much of an impact there was from the storm (we’re a pretty decent way inland from the coast).

So, perspective about the kitchen right?

Anyway! I hope to be completely back in business soon, but for the time being, I appreciate your patience!!

And now, let’s get to the good stuff and talk this fall farro salad!

We have tender butternut squash. Pops of kale. Crunchy walnuts! And my favorite, perfectly chewy whole grain … farro! It all gets tossed together with a simple maple dijon dressing … combining into an awesome fall dinner (or lunch! or side dish!).

And while we are on side dishes, I’m just going to go ahead and throw it out there. I think this would be a most excellent addition to any Thanksgiving spread! Oh yes indeed.

Filled with tender butternut squash, kale and crunchy walnuts, this fall farro salad is perfect for the season! Healthy, simple and an excellent main or side dish!

So, like always, let’s get to a few tips & tricks for the recipe!

  1. I used pre-cut butternut squash while testing this dish (since my big chef knife was still packed away in boxes!). So, if you cut the squash yourself, the prep time will be longer. Alternatively, you can cut it in advance so it is ready to go when needed!
  2. Along those lines, if you are using pre-cut squash and the chunks are smaller than the ¾ inch size listed down below in the recipe, just keep an eye on the squash in the oven. It will take a little less time to roast.
  3. I like to use lacinato kale in this salad, since I find it a touch more tender than regular kale. But any kind will work!
  4. And about the farro. Be sure to read the notes section in the recipe, which contains info about the cook time for this chewy whole grain! But one other point. The cook time for farro can also vary a bit by how old it is (the older it is, the longer it takes). So just keep that in mind as well! Like I mention below, the best way to check for doneness is to taste it!

Oh farro, my love for you will never ever fade!! ♥

Filled with tender butternut squash, kale and crunchy walnuts, this fall farro salad is perfect for the season! Healthy, simple and an excellent main or side dish!

Yield: about 4 servings, as a main

Fall Farro Salad with Butternut Squash

Prep Time:15 minutes

Cook Time:40 minutes

Total Time:55 minutes

Filled with tender butternut squash, kale and crunchy walnuts, this fall farro salad is perfect for the season! Healthy, simple and an excellent main or side dish!

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 1 cup farro, rinsed
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash (about ¾ inch chunks)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups chopped kale (remove the stems first!)
  • ½ cup chopped raw walnuts

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • pinch of pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

For the salad:

  1. Add the farro to a medium saucepan, then pour in the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until tender but still a touch chewy (see notes for approximate cook time*). Drain off any excess liquid and add to a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, add the red onion and butternut squash to a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Toss to combine and spread in an even layer. Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until tender and starting to brown. Add the veggies to the large bowl, along with the kale and walnuts. Toss to combine.

For the dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Pour into the bowl with the farro and veggies and toss to combine. Taste and season with additional salt / pepper as needed (I usually add a touch more salt). Serve warm!

*There are several different kinds of farro – whole, semi-pearled and pearled. Whole farro takes the longest to cook and pearled the shortest. I usually use semi-pearled farro, which in general takes about 20 to 30 minutes to cook. But the best way to check farro for doneness is to taste it! As mentioned above, you want it to be tender but still a bit chewy.

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