Get Familiar With Farro

This filling salad owes its heartiness to farro. Combined with roasted and fresh veggies and a fab-flavored vinaigrette, you've got yourself a great meal.

Roasted butternut squash and farro salad with orange-maple vinaigrette

As a Meatless Monday dish, this roasted butternut squash and farro salad with orange-maple vinaigrette makes a fantastic (and filling) main-dish salad. The process of roasting the butternut squash adds caramelization to this pretty orange veggie and that means some sweetness, too. It makes a great balance to the flavor of the farro and added kale.

I love the texture and versatility of farro. Never tried it? You should. Farro is a type of wheat that looks a little like brown rice and has a chewy texture and nutty taste. It's heartier than brown rice, and you can use it in so many dishes.

This recipe isn't necessarily one that you'd toss together at the last minute for a quick salad, but it really only takes about 30-40 minutes to put it together as a main dish. I like to make a little extra to enjoy for lunch the next day.

Roasted butternut squash and farro salad with orange-maple vinaigrette recipe

Serves 2

Ingredients:

For the vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 1 cup uncooked farro
  • 12 ounces butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 onion, chopped in large pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces baby kale, cut into thin strips
  • 2 green onions, chopped

Roasted butternut squash and farro salad with orange-maple vinaigrette

Directions:

For the vinaigrette

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl except the olive oil, and whisk together.
  2. A little at a time, drizzle the olive oil into the mixture while whisking.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use, and mix well before serving.

For the salad

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Add the butternut squash, onion and garlic to the baking pan. Drizzle with the olive oil, add the salt and pepper, then toss to coat.
  3. Cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
  4. Remove from the oven. Carefully transfer the butternut squash to a mixing bowl. Discard the other ingredients.
  5. When you add the butternut squash to the oven, add the farro and 2-1/2 cups of water to a medium pan over high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
  6. Once boiling, reduce the heat to simmer and cover with a lid, but not all the way.
  7. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the farro is chewy.
  8. Drain and return to the pan (not on the heat).
  9. When the farro has cooled, add it to the bowl with the butternut squash. Add the chopped kale and green onions, drizzle in the vinaigrette, and toss to coat.
  10. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Get familiar with farro!

More Meatless Monday recipes

Curried sweet potato, green bean and tortellini soup
Quick & easy tofu lettuce wraps
Cauliflower couscous with caramelized onions, cherries & goat cheese

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