Last month some friends of mine invited me for dinner at their home, and shared with me a wonderful salad inspired by this recipe from smitten kitchen. They told me that they make it about once a week and never get sick of it, so I had pretty high expectations of this dinner salad. Sure enough, it has since become a new favorite of mine!
Butternut Squash and Farro Salad with Kale (serves 4 dinner portions)
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 2 TB olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup of pearled Farro
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 TB sherry vinegar
- 1 TB water
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 bunch of kale, trimmed from ribs and coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/3 cup toasted, salted pepitas
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil and spread squash out in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked pepper and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, turning them over halfway through the cooking time.
Meanwhile, rinse farro and add to a medium pot with three cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower the heat to a slow boil. Cook for 30 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, water, salt and sugar until dissolved. Add onion and toss to coat, then cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In a large salad bowl, combine kale, feta and pepitas. Once cooked, add the butternut squash and farro, then top with marinated onions along with any leftover vinegar mix. Toss to combine and serve.
This salad is incredibly filling, and it makes great leftovers served cold the next day. Definitely don’t skimp on the onions (unless you really hate them), as they add a great texture to the meal. And feel free to sub out the feta cheese for another soft cheese like ricotta or goat cheese. If you’re serving a larger group, you can use this as a hearty side salad and serve with a piece of protein, such as a grilled chicken sausage.
If pairing with a wine, I would suggest a dark Rose or a full-bodied Chardonnay. If craving red, you could opt for an earthy Pinot Noir or a Malbec – something light but with enough spice to match up to the hearty butternut squash.