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Roasted Acorn Squash with Fresh Greens, Farro, and Feta

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It’s the dawn of a new year, and the flurry of the holiday season has just run its course. Now that the hustle and bustle has died down, we’re ready to get back to our everyday routine for a bit – and our kitchen!

And what better way to start the new year than a refreshing, nourishing salad? This recipe is a mix of some of our best-loved ingredients – roasted acorn squash, warm farro, toasted walnuts, salty feta, and a zesty orange and mustard vinaigrette. The combination is a burst of flavors and textures that we found to be deliciously satisfying (thanks to La Buena Vida for the inspiration!).

We couldn’t be more pleased to find another solid use for acorn squash (this stuffed version was one of the highlights of last year’s recipes). If acorn squash is not readily available in your area, you can substitute any type of winter squash (butternut, delicata, buttercup, or whatever you can find).

This salad is hearty enough to serve as a lunch or light dinner, with a generous amount of toppings and some bread or rolls. Or, try it as a substantial side salad or first course for a special dinner. Whatever the case, it’s an excellent way to enjoy some nutrient-rich winter eating!

Thanks to Melody Acres for the acorn squash and Homestead Growers for the greens (both at the Indy Winter Farmer’s Market)!

Roasted Acorn Squash with Fresh Greens, Farro and Feta
Serves four
Inspired by La Buena Vida

What You Need
2 acorn squash
2 cups farro (or substitute barley if farro is not available)
1 bunch of local greens
One orange (for 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed juice and zest)
Feta cheese
1/2 cup walnuts
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons stone ground mustard
1 teaspoon honey
Kosher salt
Pepper
Parchment paper

What To Do

1  Roast the squash: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut into 1/4 inch slices. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and toss the squash slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil, several pinches kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Roast until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.

2  Cook the farro: Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, place 2 cups farro with 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes, until tender. When finished, drain and mix with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

3  Toast the walnuts: Crush or chop the walnuts (you can place them in a handkerchief or plastic bag and pound with a rolling pin or other heavy item). In a small skillet, toast the nuts over medium to low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are brown and fragrant, taking care that they don’t burn.

4  Make the dressing: In a small canning jar, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons stone ground mustard, 1 teaspoon honey, and 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed orange juice. Shake vigorously to combine (alternatively, whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl). Season with a pinch of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed.

5  Assemble the salad: On each plate or bowl, pile a bunch of greens. Top with roasted squash, warm farro, feta crumbles and toasted walnuts. Drizzle with some dressing and garnish with a bit of orange zest and fresh ground pepper.

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Comments 19

  1. MrsMudd

    tell me about Farro….I am out of the loop, I am afraid….
    this sounds delish…cannot wait to try it

    1. Sonja

      Farro is a grain similar to barley or spelt, if you’ve worked with those. However, it’s very quick cooking – just about 15 minutes! It’s one of my favorite whole grains to use, and is becoming more available. Let us know if you try it out!

    1. Sonja

      Thanks – it’s one of my favorites too! We have a salad with roasted vegetables and farro in the archives that is also very delicious – it was the first thing we ever made with farro. You could check that out for more inspiration too :)

  2. Judy

    This looks so fresh and wonderful! It’s absolutely what I am looking for after the hefty holidays. More so, this looks like a recipe to keep =)

    1. Sonja

      We use farro anywhere you’d use a grain – grain salads with vegetables, soups, a substitute for rice in stir fries or burritos, etc. You also can boil it up and add some olive oil and herbs fora nice side dish. I love it because it cooks much faster than brown rice, so I generally use that instead.

      Here are a few recipes for inspiration! Let us know if you try it out.

      http://www.acouplecooks.com/2010/10/farro-salad-with-roasted-vegetables-and-fontina/

      http://www.acouplecooks.com/2011/01/garlic-and-kale-soup/

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  3. Liz

    I made this last night switching out the farro for quinoa (its what I had in the house) and pomegranate tangerine vinegar instead of white wine vinegar – YUMM! I always forget how much I like acorn squash! Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  4. Jess

    I think I bookmarked this recipe over a year ago. I was never able to find farro, and really wanted to try this awesome new grain.

    I finally found farro, and made this salad for myself and my salad hating husband. He liked it even more than me (and I thought it was amazing)!

    Thanks for another fabulous recipe.

  5. Jon Ransom

    This is one of my very favorite recipes. It’s filling and incredibly healthy. We eat it as a main course every couple weeks and love it. Thanks.

  6. Bree

    I stumbled upon this recipe today while trying to find something to do with farro I bought on sale. I used some kale instead of greens (only because the kale was sitting in the fridge and hitting it’s final days). I thought it was excellent, but my slightly less adventurous husband didn’t care for it. Oh well. More for me, lunch leftovers will be amazing!! Delish! I’ve Pinned it and shared with friends. Keep up the good work!

      1. Bree

        OK, I have to amend my post. Just caught hubby eating the tasty leftovers out of the fridge. Guess he changed his mind! :-D

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