Butternut Squash Salad with Farro and Pepitas

This is one of my new favorite salads. It’s easy to put together and surprisingly tasty. A batch of quick-pickled onions adds great flavor. I liked it both at room temperature as well as warm. I didn’t have any pepitas, so I skipped them, but I am certain that they will be a welcome addition when I next make this, especially if they’re salted pepitas. I also didn’t add the cheese because my vegetarian son is not a huge cheese lover. I planned to add feta because I didn’t have ricotta salata. I’ll definitely add it next time. That said, this salad is incredibly delicious without the cheese and seeds. I find butternut squash difficult to peel, but this time I put it into a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, it became quite easy to peel. Thank goodness for internet tips!

Butternut Squash Salad with Farro and Pepitas
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
5 to 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup semi-pearled farro
1/3 cup toasted pepitas
3 ounces ricotta salata or feta, crumbled or coarsely grated (about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or rice vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Peel squash (see comments above about peeling butternut squash), then halve lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Cut squash into approximately 3/4-inch chunks. Coat a large baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of olive 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 salted water until the grains are tender but chewy, about 30 minutes, or as long as is suggested on the box. Drain and cool slightly.

While squash and farro are cooking, whisk together vinegar, water, 1/2 teaspoon table salt and granulated sugar in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in onion; it will barely be covered by vinegar mixture but don’t worry. Cover and keep in the refrigerator until needed; 30 minutes is ideal but less time will be ok.

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. I enjoy this both warm and at room temperature.

One year ago: Chocolate-Cherry Heart Smart Cookies
Two years ago: Plush Coconut Cake
Three years ago: Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
Four years ago: Cake Batter Truffles
Five years ago: No Bake Eclair Cake
Six years ago: Parker’s Split Pea Soup
Seven years ago: Citrus Seasoning Salt
Eight years ago: Caribbean Succotash
Nine years ago: Moroccan Carrot Dip
Ten years ago: Chewy Chocolate Cookies
Eleven years ago: Swedish Meatballs

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