Farro Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Toasted Walnuts, Greens and Balsamic-Walnut Vinaigrette
You could substitute barley or wheat berries for the farro. If you’d like to use farro, I order mine from Market Hall Foods, or I believe Whole Foods Market should carry it (if you have one in your area.)
2 3/4 cup (1.1 lb) whole-grain farro, cooked according to the directions on the package (I soaked mine in cold water for 30 minutes, then simmered for another 40 minutes or so.)
1 cup walnuts, toasted (see below)
2 medium red onions or shallots, cut lengthwise into wedges and layers separated
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
5 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 bunch Swiss Chard or kale, steamed until bright green and wilted
6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup walnut oil
2 tsp dijon mustard
To serve (optional):
crumbled goat cheese or feta
Cook farro in salted water according to directions on package (see above) and drain.
Toast the walnuts: spread whole walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in a 400 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes, only until they start to turn a deeper brown color and become very aromatic (watch out, they burn quickly! Stay close by and check on them frequently).
On another baking sheet, spread out the onions/shallots and cubed butternut squash. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with the thyme, kosher salt, and pepper, and roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the squash is tender (again, check on it periodically and give it a stir every so often to ensure even browning.)
While the veggies are roasting, steam the greens until bright green and wilted.
Make the vinaigrette by whisking together 6 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, and 2 tsp dijon mustard (to help emulsify.) You probably won’t use all of this, but it’s better to have a little extra so you can use the amount needed to properly dress the salad.
In a large bowl, toss together the farro, greens, and roasted squash and onions. Drizzle in about half the balsamic vinaigrette that you already mixed up, and stir the salad well with a large spoon to ensure even coating. Taste and see if it needs more dressing: if so, add some. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, crumble some goat cheese or feta cheese on top of the salad, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, if you wish.
Makes about 6 generous servings.