Winter Farro Salad

Jennifer W. | The Scrumptious Pumpkin
Yum

This Winter farro salad is wonderful for meatless Monday. Roasted butternut squash, crispy kale, and tangy goat cheese make for a fantastic meal.

Winter Farro Salad Photo

This winter farro salad has become one of my favorite meatless meals this season. First, because farro (trendy in restaurants now, but actually a traditional grain from the ancient Mediterranean) is so good. I’ve found that it’s a grain that’s easy to prepare (quicker than rice) with a hearty, chewy texture and a nutty, slightly sweet flavor. It’s packed with detoxifying fiber and filling protein (7 grams of each per serving) and, in my opinion, tastes better than rice or quinoa. So yes, I’m pretty addicted to farro these days.

Winter Farro Salad Picture

The second reason this dish has become a favorite of mine this winter: the combo of scrumptious, seasonal flavors. There’s roasted butternut with a hint of maple syrup to bring out the natural sweetness of the squash, crispy and savory kale “chips,” and rich and creamy goat cheese. Serve this salad warm; it’s just so comforting on a cold night!

Crispy Kale Photo

As for a few tips for success with this recipe, begin by roasting some kale with olive oil, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet. Be careful to spread out the kale so that no two pieces are overlapping – this is the key to ensuring that every piece becomes crisp in the oven. After cooking for just several minutes, the kale will be transformed into salty, crispy “chips.” Just be sure to set the crispy kale aside and, when the farro salad is ready, crush a few of the chips to sprinkle over the top. Don’t mix the kale in with the warm salad – it will immediately wilt the kale, removing any crispiness.

Roasted Vegetables Photo

Another tip: before roasting the butternut squash and onions, drizzle on a bit of pure maple syrup along with the olive oil. Although you won’t taste the maple in the final dish, it really helps to bring out the sweetness in the squash, a perfect complement to the savory kale and goat cheese.

Farro Photo

Last suggestion: although farro is super simple to prepare (just boil it on the stovetop until it’s tender), it takes about 30 minutes to cook. So it’s best to begin boiling the farro earlier on as you’re working through the recipe.

Winter Farro Salad Image

The final dish is a complete and filling meatless meal that’s really satisfying and flavorful. The rich, creamy goat cheese, the tender sweet squash, the crispy kale, the nutty farro – this is what I call a hearty, warm winter salad!

Winter Farro Salad Recipe

    4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Farro
  • 2 ounces Baby Kale, Stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil, Plus 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 small Onion, Chopped
  • 14 ounces Butternut Squash, Chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 ounces Organic Goat Cheese, Chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

For the Crispy Kale:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Spread kale evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet so that the entire baking sheet is covered in one thin layer of kale, and no two pieces are overlapping.
  3. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over kale and season thoroughly with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast in the oven about 7-9 minutes, or until crisp and slightly golden. Set aside.
  5. Increase oven heat to 425°F.

For the Farro:

  1. Meanwhile, add the farro and 3 cups of water to a large saucepan. Salt the water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until farro is tender, about 30 minutes. Most of the water will be absorbed; drain any excess liquid.

For the Roasted Vegetables:

  1. Meanwhile, pile the garlic, onion, and butternut on the center of a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle on 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil along with the maple syrup. Season thoroughly with salt and pepper.
  2. Use hands to mix and combine ingredients until butternut is well coated with oil and syrup. Spread ingredients across pan in one layer. Roast in the oven until butternut is softened, about 16-19 minutes.

To Make the Salad:

  1. Add the butternut mixture to the saucepan containing the cooked and drained farro.
  2. Add the goat cheese and stir until well combined.
  3. Transfer farro salad to serving bowls.
  4. Top with crushed crispy kale immediately before serving. Serve warm.

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Jennifer W.

About Jennifer

Jen is a lifelong lover of fresh, healthy eating. She shares this love on The Scrumptious Pumpkin. Here on Food Fanatic, she's sharing her best Healthy Comfort Food.