Have you been to the farmers market lately? So many colors and varieties of winter squash are on display at ours right now. When I came home with the Kabocha squash I used for tacos a few weeks ago, the boy was disappointed it was not an acorn squash. So we’ve been getting acorn squash once a week, and I decided to use this week’s in a warm grain salad. I discovered quick cooking grains at Trader Joe’s recently and wanted to give the farro a try. I simmered it in water with a pinch of salt and splash of olive oil and it was ready in just 15 minutes — not bad! If you have regular farro, though, be sure to cook according to the package directions.
Recipe: Squash Farro Salad
This warm grain salad can be made with barley or rice if you prefer. We used acorn squash, which is easier to peel after cooking. If you’d rather use butternut, peel and cube it before roasting. And cranberries add a nice color contrast, but golden raisins are equally tasty in a pinch!
Makes 4 servings
- 1 cup uncooked farro
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 acorn squash
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon champagne or cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
1. Prepare farro according to package instructions. If using quick-cooking farro, place farro and two cups of water in a medium saucepan. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand for another 5 minutes, then drain any excess water. Keep covered while preparing the remaining ingredients.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place cut side down on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cook 25 to 30 minutes, until tender when pricked with a fork. Remove and let cool slightly before cutting off peel and cutting into small pieces.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together salt, maple syrup and vinegar. Drizzle olive oil, whisking until smooth. Set aside.
4. Combine farro, squash, cranberries or raisins and dressing in a large bowl, stirring to evenly distribute dressing. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and serve warm.
Looking for more squash inspiration? Savory Simple has a round-up of dozens of food blogger recipes using all types of squash. I can’t wait to try these three, in particular: