The perfect hearty warm salad, creamy and sweet butternut squash, paired with tender kale, nutty farro, sweet dried cherries, and rich pecans, tossed with the BEST sweet and tangy balsamic vinaigrette. You HAVE to make this recipe!
Grain salads are life. My heart skips a beat when I open the fridge and see a leftover grain salad patiently waiting for me to scoop it up.
This farro salad with butternut squash hits all of my favorite notes:
- Hearty nutty farro
- Warm and sweet butternut squash
- Tender kale
- The sweet-tart pop of dried cherries
- Rich, crunchy, savory pecans
- The BEST tangy honey balsamic vinaigrette
I'm getting hungry. Let's get cooking!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE:
Detailed measurements and ingredients can be found within the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Dried Cherries
- Chopped Pecans
- Honey, Balsamic, Olive Oil
TOOLS YOU WILL USE:
- Large sheet pan
- Medium-sized pot
- A good knife
- Cutting Board
- Small whisk (or a salad dressing shaker)
WHAT IS FARRO?
Farro is a whole grain that has been eaten traditionally for over 6000 years. Egyptians used it in baking and Italians have loved farro for centuries. It has a luscious nutty flavor with a perfect pop bite. No mushy weird grain here, this is the good stuff.
You should be able to find farro in most grocery stores.
FARRO COOKING TIPS!
I prefer to soak farro overnight or for a few hours in a large bowl of water. This increases the digestibility of the grain, helps to remove phytic acid, and also decreases the cooking time.
The kale is not cooked in this recipe but MUST be massaged. Look at the difference between the non-massaged kale and the massaged kale in this photo. A little bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt helps to break down the tough cellular wall of the kale and produces a velvety soft green.
Simply slice the kale into thin threads and get your hands in there and show the kale some love.
Follow this tutorial for perfectly roasted butternut squash. You can roast more than you need and use it in a variety of ways all week long.
THE BEST BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE!
This is our “house dressing” I make it weekly and pour it on everything.
HOW TO STORE AND USE FARRO SALAD LEFTOVERS
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can enjoy leftovers cold, room temperature or warmed. I love to repurpose leftovers in a variety of ways:
- Add on top of a green salad
- Make a grain bowl – add a hard-boiled egg on top or any other protein
DIETARY MODIFICATIONS FOR THIS RECIPE:
This recipe is naturally vegan and vegetarian.
- Gluten-Free – You can replace the farro with a gluten-free grain like quinoa
- Paleo – Technically you could replace the farro with cauliflower rice but I don't really see the point, I would just make a different recipe.
MY FAVORITE RECIPES USING BUTTERNUT SQUASH:
I can’t wait for you to try this Butternut Squash Farro Salad! When you make it, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram @abrapappa or use the hashtag #abraskitchen so I can feature your photo!
If you’ve tried this recipe, don’t forget to rate and leave a comment below. I love to hear from people who’ve made my recipes!
Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Farro Salad with Dried Cherries and Pecans
- Soak the farro in water for 1-2 hours or overnight (optional but this dramatically cuts down on the cooking time)
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, add farro and cook for 30-45 minutes or until tender. Drain farro (as you would pasta) and set aside.
- Add kale to a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and salt. Massage until tender.
- Add farro and butternut squash to the bowl with the massaged kale and toss well. Add dried cherries and pecans.
- Prepare the dressing by whisking all ingredients together until emulsified (alternatively, add all ingredients to a mason jar or salad dressing shaker and shake until thick and creamy)
- Drizzle dressing on top of the farro salad and toss well to coat. NOTE: You may not need all of the dressing. This is personal! Start with 1/2 the dressing and taste to see how you like it, if you feel like it needs more add more!
- Serve immediately.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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