This time of year, I love just about any salad that doesn’t have lettuce as a first ingredient. In the summer months, I’m down with any kind of fresh salad green but when temperatures drop below 40, I want something heartier. Packed with roasted vegetables, seeds/nuts, grains, and perhaps a little bit of cheese. This combination is perfect as a light dinner, side dish or lunch. Bonus points is that sans lettuce, I can usually keep a batch in the fridge to snack on throughout the week.
My mom recently visited and I was reminded how much I love farro. She made a similar salad to this for lunch one day and I knew I wanted to create a holiday worthy version. My take includes pistachios and pomegranate seeds for color, plus lots of fresh mint to balance out the richness of the squash and feta.
If you haven’t had farro before, this is the perfect introductory recipe. Similar to wheat berries and couscous, it has a nutty, hearty flavor that stands up perfectly to the other ingredients. I usually buy mine in the bulk bin of Whole Foods or the Co-op, but you can sometimes find it in the grain section of the grocery store. If all else fails, Amazon or Thrive market works.
Once you buy it, you’ll find yourself eating it over and over again. At least that’s true if you’re anything like me. In my pre-baby days, I would cook a large batch on the weekends to add to salads and grain bowls throughout the week.
I think it goes without saying that this salad would make the perfect addition to any holiday table, but I’ll say it just in case. The colors alone make it a colorful choice: bright pomegranate arils and bright green mint plus lots of gorgeous roasted squash.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
Jeweled Farro Salad
Yield 6 side dishes
Jeweled Farro Salad! You've gotta try this salad for Thanksgiving and the holidays. Roasted butternut squash, pistachios, pomegranate seeds, farro, mint and parsley in a lemon dressing.
- 1 pound cubed butternut squash
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 shallots, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage (I used rubbed sage from Penzey's Spices)
- 1 cup farro
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 cup feta
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/3 cup chopped parsley leaves
- 1/3 cup chopped pistachios
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1/3 cup good quality olive oil
- salt/pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Toss butternut squash with 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, shallots, garlic and sage.
- Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until tender and caramelized, about 25-35 minutes. remove from oven and let cool slightly.
- While the squash is roasting, place the farro and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, then simmer until tender. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
- Place the cooked and cooled squash, farro, pomegranate seeds, feta, pistachios mint and cilantro in a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, zest, then drizzle in the olive oil to form a thick emulsion. Drizzle the dressing onto the salad and toss together. Season with salt and pepper. I usually start with 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper and go from there.
Courses dinner, main, side dish
Cuisine vegetarian, holidays, thanksgiving, christmas