The cooler fall temperatures have inspired me to take a break from my usual quinoa salad and cook some nutty farro instead. I love its toothsome texture, and its flavor pairs well with fall ingredients.
This salad has nutty, sweet, and savory flavors, and nice contrasting textures. Serve it warm with roasted chicken or pork, or at room temperature for lunch.
Let's call this salad what it really is: fall in a bowl (or on a plate). While farro is certainly wonderful any time of year, its nutty flavor and hearty texture make it the ideal base for a seasonal fall salad. Paired with sweet persimmons, squash, toasted pecans, salty feta, and a tangy yet subtle vinaigrette, this salad really covers all the flavor bases.
I've especially been enjoying this salad, served over a bed of arugula as Vanessa suggests, as lunch. While it makes enough to serve six as a side, it will comfortably serve four as a main lunch salad.
- Kelli, October 2015
Warm Farro Salad with Roasted Squash, Persimmons & Pecans
Serves 6 as a side
1 1/2 cups uncooked farro
1 medium delicata squash, peeled, seeds removed, and diced (approximately 2 cups)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon good-quality apple cider or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pecan halves, lightly toasted
1 Fuyu persimmon, diced small
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
3 ounces crumbled feta
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
In a medium saucepan combine farro with 3 cups of cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, ready all other ingredients. The flavor of this salad is better when it is tossed with the dressing while the farro is still warm.
Toss the squash cubes in a little olive oil and coarse salt, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, in a single layer. Roast the squash in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes until brown, caramelized, and tender, stopping once halfway through to slide a spatula under the squash and flip it gently and rotate the baking sheet so the squash cooks evenly.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegars, shallots, and a pinch of salt. In a steady, slow stream, whisk in the olive oil until blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Drain the cooked farro, then place the farro in a serving bowl along with cooked squash, pecans, persimmon, parsley, and pomegranate seeds (if using). Pour the dressing over and toss. Add the feta and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss again gently. Serve over a bed of arugula if desired.
- Delicata squash has a thin skin that's edible and doesn't have to be peeled. I think this salad is nice with peeled squash, but you can leave it unpeeled if you prefer.
This recipe has been updated — first published November 2006.