Farro Grain Salad
- 1medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
- 5Tbspolive oil, divided (5 or 6 tablespoons to taste)
- 1cupcup semi-pearled farro
- 1/3cuptoasted pepitas, also known as roasted pumpkin seeds (you may use salted ones)
- 3qtfeta or another salty cheese, crumbled or coarsely grated (about 3/4 cup)
- 1Tbspsherry vinegar (you may substitute balsamic vinegar)
- 1/2tspadditional salt
- 1/2small red onion, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel squash, then halve lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Cut squash into approximately 3/4-inch chunks. Coat a large baking sheet with 2 tablespoons oil. Spread squash out in single layer on sheet. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast until pieces are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes, turning them over halfway through the cooking time. Set aside to cool slightly.
- While squash is roasting, cook farro in a large pot of simmering lightly salted water until the grains are tender but chewy, about 30 minutes. Since there are many varieties of farro, if your package suggests a different cooking time, follow those directions. Drain and cool slightly.
- While squash is roasting and farro is simmering, in a small bowl, whisk together sherry vinegar, water, and 1/2 teaspoon table salt until salt dissolves. Stir in onion mixture. Cover and set in fridge until needed; 30 minutes is ideal but less time will still make a lovely, lightly pickled onion.
- In a large bowl, mix together butternut squash, farro, red onion and its vinegar brine, the crumbled cheese and pepitas. Toss with 3 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil, use the 4th one only if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Salad will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
This recipe series is sponsored by the Center for Nutrition and Healthy Food Systems at the UVM Medical Center, focused on building sustainable food in health care.