Butternut Squash and Farro Salad

This salad came together in a wonderful way. I have made Butternut Squash Salads before but not this way. I am not gonna lie it has a bit of prep work, some of which can be done ahead of time. You can make it all ahead of time and just put together right before you’re going to eat it. I was serving for lunch so just woke up early and did it all except for the Farro which I made the night before. I know this salad seems complicated but it’s really not. I promise.

This salad is delicious as is for the vegetarians or add some grilled chicken, steak or fish for a complete meal. I added grilled chicken for this lunch.

As long as you don’t dress the salad you’ll have yummy leftovers. Arugula may get wilted so I don’t add till right before serving.

Delicious meatless meal as is.

This is how I did it — Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 lb. butternut squash — cubed into small 1/2″ cubes ( see photo)

1 cup Farro cooked — I probably used about 1 1/2 cups for salad

4 Tablespoons sherry vinegar– divided

Cayenne Pepper

1/2 cup dried cherries or raisins / craisins , cranberries or whatever dried fruit you prefer– I used cherries because I like them bestie a salad but golden raisins or any dried fruit would be fine

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

2 large shallots, sliced thinly

5 Tablespoons olive oil plus — 3 for dressing and 2 for butternut squash / shallots

Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 oz. smoked gouda — small diced pieces — you can use whatever cheese you like and as much or as little as you like I happen to buy smoked gouda and it worked out perfectly

Arugula — I prefer baby arugula if you can find it — I used app. 3 cups but feel free to add as much or as little as you like here

Salad Dressing:

4 Tablespoons Sherry vinegar – divided — 2 for soaking dried fruit and then 2 more for dressing

  • see directions below

2 teaspoons grainy mustard

3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Kosher Salt and Pepper

combine all ingredients whisk together and emulsify and add a pinch of cayenne pepper and a little salt and pepper

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Toss squash and sliced shallots in a bowl with about 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil add salt and pepper and spread evenly onto a sprayed baking sheet. Bake until tender and browned , about 30 – 40 minutes . Set aside to cool when done.

Put the cherries or whatever dried fruit you’re using in a small shallow bowl with 2 Tablespoons of the Sherry Vinegar and let sit for at least 15 minutes– let them soak just toss them every once in a while. Remove the cherries after 15 minutes and drain them with a bowl underneath to reserve the liquid — you should have 2 Tablespoons and add 2 more Tablespoons of sherry vinegar and follow above directions for the dressing.

Cook the Farro — I made 11/2 cups and that’s all you really need is 1 to 1 1/2 cup cooked farro

Let the farro and the squash cool down completely. Mix in a big bowl with cheese, walnuts, dried fruit, and right before serving add the arugula so it doesn’t wilt . Add as much or as little of the arugula as you want.

I let everyone add their own dressing or you can dress salad and serve. I also added grilled chicken which of course is your call.

I would say this salad serves 4-6 .

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