Roasted Farro Squash Salad
Dietary - vegan, oil-free, can be nut-free and gluten-free as well.
Holidays - This amazing salad is a perfect addition for the holidays.
Can be served as a main or a side dish - serves 4 as a main dish, but feeds 6-8 as a side salad.
Farro – Farro‘s nutty flavor and chewy texture makes it perfect for salads, however, you can use barley, brown rice, freekeh or quinoa in its place.
Squash – I used acorn squash but kabocha squash or butternut squash also work. As for the cooking method, I roasted it in the oven but any cooking method can be used (Instant Pot, stovetop etc.)
Pomegranate – Pomegranate adds a sweet, tangy flavor and crunchy texture to the salad. Whole pomegranates are a bit of a pain to prepare and always a little messy, so I actually used thawed frozen pomegranate arils. If you prefer, you can use dried cranberries for a similar flavor.
Apple – use any variety of apple you like but a crunchy one works best
Tahini dressing – you will need is tahini, lemon, garlic powder and sea salt.
Step By Step Instructions
Step 1. Roast the squash. The squash can be cooked any way you like but I like roasting it in the oven best. Here’s how:
Cut an acorn squash in half from the stem to the bottom and scoop out the seeds.
Slice each half into wedges approximately 1.5 inches thick.
Line a baking tray with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper or give it a little spritz of non-stick cooking spray. This isn’t totally necessary if you have a good roasting pan as acorn squash doesn’t really stick to the pan.
Place the wedges on the pan and roast for about 30 minutes. I like to give them a little sprinkle of salt and pepper before roasting. The squash is ready when you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork but it’s still somewhat firm.
Pull it out of the oven and let cool until you can handle the wedges. Once it cools down, you should be able to easily peel the skin away from the flesh. Chop up the wedges to use in the salad.
As with any salad, you can always make changes when needed, or wanted. For instance, Butternut Squash can be peeled and cubed before roasting but, I would still peel it after to make things easier.
Step 2. Cook the farro stovetop or in an Instant Pot.
For stovetop: bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add 1 cup of farro, cover, reduce to a light simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until tender.
Step 3. Make the dressing by whisking the ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
Finally, slice the apple, prepare the pomegranate and assemble the salads, finishing off with a generous drizzle of tahini dressing!
SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
Add tofu feta for some extra tanginess and flavor.
Use pecans or slivered almonds instead of walnuts.
Try dried cranberries instead of pomegranate.
Swap the tahini dressing for dijon dressing or balsamic vinaigrette
For gluten-free, be sure to swap the farro for quinoa or brown rice,
For nut-free, use pumpkin seeds or sunflower seed instead of walnuts.
This salad, as with most, is best when served fresh but, you can prepare these components separately in advance to store for a quick assembly.
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