Hey everyone – Hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings!! I’ve been in Wisconsin for over a week now and loving every minute of it!! I made this for dinner a few weeks ago and absolutely fell in love. So, I decided to make it for our Thanksgiving dinner with our family friends and everyone raved about it. Bottom line – you have to try this recipe!!First off, are you wondering what farro is? It is a grain similar to barley that has a slight nutty flavor and is a bit crunchy in texture. It’s full of fiber and protein, so will keep you full for a long time! I have seen it in the bulk bins at different grocery stores, but you could also order it online. Here is the package I bought at Whole Foods:
Preparing the butternut squash for roasting isn’t the easiest, so here’s how I did it. First, cut off both ends of the squash. Next, using a vegetable peeler, peel off the skin until you get to the orange meat on the inside. Then, cut the squash in half the long way and scoop out the seeds. Finally, dice into cubes.
I could eat this all fall and winter long! Butternut Salad with Farro, Pepitas and Feta
Serves 4 to 6, generously, as a main dish
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
5 to 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup farro
1/3 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
3 ounces feta (or another salty cheese) crumbled or chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Peel squash, then halve lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Cut squash into approximately 3/4-inch chunks. Coat one large or two small baking sheets with 2 tablespoons oil total. Spread squash out in single layer on sheet. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast until pieces are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes, turning them over halfway through the cooking time. Set aside to cool slightly.
While squash is roasting, cook farro in a large pot of simmering salted water until the grains are tender but chewy, about 30 minutes. (Since there are so many varieties of farro, however, if your package suggests otherwise, it’s best to defer to its cooking suggestion. My farro called for soaking overnight, but I didn’t do that and it turned out fine.) Drain and cool slightly.
While squash is roasting and farro is simmering, in a small bowl, whisk together sherry vinegar, water, 1/2 teaspoon table salt and granulated sugar until sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in onion; it will barely be covered by vinegar mixture but don’t worry. Cover and set in fridge until needed; 30 minutes is ideal but less time will still make a lovely, lightly pickled onion.
In a large bowl, mix together butternut squash, farro, red onion and its vinegar brine, the crumbled cheese and pepitas. Toss with 3 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil, use the 4th one only if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings. Eat now or later. Salad keeps in the fridge for up to a week.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen here.