This fall farro salad is filled with delicious flavors. With roasted squash, radicchio, apple and more wrapped in a flavorful lemon-tahini dressing. Tasty, hearty and healthy. Perfect for a lunchbox, too.
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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. Certainly I get a bit uncomfortable with too much of the same, unlike my husband. I need to go places, I don't like to have 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, though, of course.
As a result, often when I want to try something new I make it for my lunch first rather than test 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. This farro salad was one of them. I made enough for my husband too and we both loved it, enjoyed in peace.
Cooking with farro
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. 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 a cold-weather salad seamed perfect.
When I think of winter and fall 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. This farro salad is a blend of both.
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 for this farro salad 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.
How to make this fall farro salad
- Dice the squash and peppers, toss them and the garlic clove with oil and roast.
- Roast until the squash is tender then let cool.
- Meanwhile cook the farro then let cool.
- Lightly toast the pine nuts, shred the radicchio and slice the apple and salad onions. Put in a bowl with the farro.
- Mix together the dressing ingredients then mix through the farro.
- Add the roasted vegetables, mix gently and serve or pack to use later.
Make ahead tips
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 cooking 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 fall 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.
Try these other tasty fall salads:
- Acorn squash wild rice salad
- Beet apple salad with maple vinaigrette
- Vegan lentil salad with roasted Brussels sprouts
- Butternut squash wild rice salad with cranberries and fennel
- Plus get more ideas for make ahead salads and fall recipes.
Fall farro salad with roasted squash, radicchio and apple
- 10 ½ oz butternut squash 300g, peeled and de-seeded weight
- 1 red pepper
- 1 clove garlic left in the skin
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp allspice
- 1 cup farro 180g
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 2 oz radicchio 60g
- ½ apple
- 3 salad onions spring onions
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp 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.
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Try these other seasonal salads from fellow bloggers:
- 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
- Brussels Sprouts Salad with White Bean Dressing and Pecan Crisps from Beauty and the Beets
- Crunchy Beet & Arugula Salad from The Crumby Cupcake
- 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 Savoy Cabbage Slaw with Spicy Bacon Dressing from Food Lust People Love