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!
- 2 acorn squash
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cups farro (or barley)
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons stone ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 orange (zest and 2 teaspoons juice)
- 1 bunch of salad greens
- 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds, then cut into 1/4 inch slices. In a medium bowl, toss the squash slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil, several pinches kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and top with the squash slices. Roast until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add 2 cups farro and 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 kosher salt.
- Crush or chop the walnuts. 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.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons stone ground mustard, 1 teaspoon honey, and 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed orange juice. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed.
- To serve, pile greens on a plate or in a bowl. Top with roasted squash, warm farro, toasted walnuts, and feta cheese crumbles. Drizzle with dressing and garnish with orange zest and fresh ground pepper.
Inspired by La Buena Vida
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.