I don’t know about anyone else but I often find myself walking a fine line between repeating the same old favorites and trying new things. Not just in food, to be fair, I think it’s probably true of life in general. I do have more of a desire to try new things than many, I think, and certainly I get a bit uncomfortable with too much of the same, unlike my husband. I need to go places, I get uncomfortable having the same food two days in a row (unless it’s just as lunch then I can cope). My eldest son seems to be a bit of a mix – he’s a typical toddler in that he clearly likes familiarity and is more comfortable with things he knows in all aspects of life, but he does seem to like to try new things – on his terms, of course. As a result there are often things that when I want to try them I make them for my lunch first rather than test them on him – it’s somehow more enjoyable not having to nag a toddler to eat at the same time or answer the ‘what is it?’ question five times – and this farro salad was one of them. I made enough for my husband too and we both loved it.
Somehow I haven’t cooked with farro before now – I’m not totally sure how that’s become the case, but I guess it’s partly I never used to see it at all and even now you do have to hunt a little, it seems. However recently I’ve see a few recipes with farro that have looked really tempting, I knew I had to finally get round to trying it, and since Sunday Supper today was all about winter salads, it seemed the perfect fit to make a farro salad (and see many more recipes being shared today below). When I think of winter salads, I tend to think of roasted root vegetables and winter fruits such as citrus, pomegranate and apple, but I also think of heartier salads that contain rice or other grains.
Farro has a lovely nuttiness to it that goes so well with roasted squash, giving a lovely contrast in flavor and texture. I have mentioned before that I like salads to have a range of both flavor and texture, and so with farro and squash as a base, I’ve added in apple, pine nuts, radicchio and pepper to give that nice range, as well as giving a lovely mix of colors. One of my favorite autumn/winter salads is a squash and chickpea salad from Moro that has a delicious tahini dressing that I’ve made a version of here that goes really well with everything. It is relatively thick, but that means it grasps on to the farro and everything else well and you get some of the tasty dressing with each mouthful.
In terms of making this farro salad, there are a few different things to prepare and you might want to do it in stages – one of the slight challenges with a salad having cooked things in there – but nothing is difficult nor labor-intensive. One way to make it feel a little easier, as I did, was to roast the squash, pepper and garlic as I was making dinner, and cook the farro ahead of time too, then chop the rest, make the dressing and assemble in the morning. In fact you could easily do the roasting and coking of the farro a day or two ahead of everything else. Even once it’s fully made, the ingredients are pretty robust so this is a perfect salad for taking to work as you don’t have to worry about it wilting and going to mush.
This farro salad has such a delicious range of flavors and textures, it’s hearty enough to fill you up but doesn’t feel heavy. The dressing is relatively thick but is so full of flavor that goes so well with everything else. Plus, it’s so colorful, it would look great on the table as part of a potluck. Just find any excuse you like, it’s incredibly tasty and so good for you too, you really need to give it a try.
- 10½oz/300g butternut squash, peeled and de-seeded weight
- 1 red pepper
- 1 clove of garlic, left in the skin
- 2tbsp olive oil
- ¼tsp allspice
- 1 cup/180g farro
- 3tbsp pine nuts
- 2oz/60g radicchio
- ½ apple
- 3 salad onions/spring onions
- 2tbsp tahini
- 2tbsp lemon juice
- 3tbsp olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
- Dice the squash and pepper into roughly bite-sized pieces and toss them, along with the garlic clove, with the 2tbsp olive oil and allspice. Roast for approx 30-40min until the squash is tender and starting to brown slightly. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile cook the farro according to the packet instructions - it will take around 15min. Drain and cool. Up to here can be done a day or two in advance, just keep your vegetables and/or your farro in the fridge until you need them.
- Lightly toast the pine nuts either in a dry frying pan or under the broiler/grill. Keep a close eye on them as they can easily burn.
- Shred the radicchio finely and cut the apple into small slices (I generally quarter it, take out the core and then slice across the way. I leave the skin on but up to you.). Slice the salad/spring onions - use some of the green part as well.
- Put the farro into a salad bowl and add the radicchio, apple and salad onions.
- Mix together the tahini, lemon juice and oilve oil as well as the roasted garlic clove (out of the skin and mashed) and any excess oil from roasting the vegetables. Stir until well blended and smooth then pour over the farro mixture and mix through well. Add the squash and pepper, mix through carefully and serve at room temperature. This salad travels well too, if needed.
See all the other great #SundaySupper Winter Salads being shared this week – thanks to Sue of A Palatable Pastime for hosting:
- Amish Ham Salad from Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Arugula, Butternut & White Bean Salad with Maple Vinaigrette from Pook’s Pantry
- Arugula Salad with Maple Vinaigrette from Cooking Chat
- Beet Terrine from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Blood Orange and Salmon Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette from La Bella Vita Cucina
- Blood Orange, Beet, and Apple Salad with Goat Cheese and Citrus Honey Vinaigrette from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Blue Cheese and Pear Salad from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Breakfast Salad from Our Good Life
- Brussels Sprouts Salad with White Bean Dressing and Pecan Crisps from Beauty and the Beets
- Chill Chasing Matchstick Vegetable Pasta Salad from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Chopped Salad with Roasted Root Vegetables and Bacon from MyGourmetConnection
- Citrus Salad from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Cobb Salad from Palatable Pastime
- Colorful Veggie Filled Quinoa with a Ginger-Lemon Dressing from Positively Stacy
- Crunchy Beet & Arugula Salad from The Crumby Cupcake
- Escarole and Roasted Broccoli Salad with Anchovy Dressing from The Texan New Yorker
- Farro Salad with Roasted Squash, Radicchio and Lemon-Tahini Dressing from Caroline’s Cooking
- Grilled Chicken Salad from Real Food Real Deals
- Hot German Hot Noodle Salad from Seduction in the Kitchen
- Kale Salad with Lemony Tahini Dressing from My Life Cookbook
- Lemony Couscous Lentil Salad from Magnolia Days
- Low-Carb Spinach Breakfast Salad from Life Tastes Good
- Mandarin Tossed Salad from Meal Planning Magic
- Orange and Walnut Baby Spinach Salad w/ Quinoa and Citrus Vinaigrette from The Freshman Cook
- Quinoa Salad with Apples, Pecans and Dried Cranberries from The Chef Next Door
- Radicchio Pear Walnut Salad from The Bitter Side of Sweet
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing from Cupcakes and Kale Chips
- Roasted Butternut Squash Pearl Couscous Salad from Mysavoryspoon
- Roasted Savoy Cabbage Slaw with Spicy Bacon Dressing from Food Lust People Love
- Roasted Squash and Cabbage Salad with Crispy Chick Peas from Monica’s Table
- Shredded Beet Salad from Wholistic Woman
- Simple Arugula, Fennel and Leek Salad with Citrus from Simply Healthy Family
- Simple Spinach Cobb Salad With Lardons from And She Cooks
- Spinach Citrus Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette from From Gate to Plate
- Warm Balsamic Steak Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing from Momma’s Meals
- Warm Cabbage Salad with Bacon and Goat Cheese from Nik Snacks
- Warm Cauliflower Spinach Salad with Pancetta from Taste and See
- Warm Potato and Broccoli Buffalo Salad from Sweet Mornings
- Warm Potato Salad with Arugula, Bacon and Brown Butter from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Warm Steak Tomato and Mozzarella Salad from Family Foodie
- Wilted Lettuce Salad from Confessions of a Cooking Diva
- Winter BLT Panzanella Salad from Hardly a Goddess
- Winter Citrus and Endive Salad from An Appealing Plan
- Winter Fruit Salad from Pies and Plots
- Winter Kale and Wild Rice Salad from Moore or Less Cooking
- Winter Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Winter Salad with Fennel, Apple, Goat Cheese and Radishes from Delaware Girl Eats
- Winter Squash Quinoa Salad from Kitchen Gidget
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Wild Rice Salad plus more Winter Salad Recipes #SundaySupper from Sunday Supper Movement
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