Farro, a Mediterranean ancient grain is everywhere these days. It has been around for longer than you think. It is delicate, nutty and versatile and therefore a popular choice for salads, soups and pilaf. It looks like wheat and tastes like brown rice, but contains more protein than brown rice. Like brown rice, it does take some time to cook this grain, but it is totally worth the trouble. If you are going to try out this grain for the first time, I highly recommend making this salad which doubles up as a filling dinner.
I have paired faro with two fall favorites of mine in this hearty salad. Deep-hued pomegranates add tiny bursts of sweet-tart juiciness and roasted butternut squash lends a perfect autumnal flavor to this salad. If peeling and cutting winter squash is not your thing, you are not alone my friend. I buy peeled, cleaned, cubed butter nut squash from Trader Joe’s and it makes my life so simple.The contrasting textures and flavors in this dish is simply incredible. The salad tastes best served warm or at room temperature.
1 cup farro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 small onion, diced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
1. Clean and soak farro in water overnight or for at least 5 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
3. Toss squash with a tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper.
4. Place on baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes.
5. Place 3 cups of water in a large pot and bring it to a boil.
6. Add drained farro to the above and cook covered on medium flame for about 45 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and grains are cooked.
7. Spread the cooked farro on a large plate and let it cool to room temperature.
8. Heat remaining oil in a pan and when oil is hot, add onions and cook for 7-10minutes.
9. Add red peppers and cook for 5-10minutes.
10. Add red pepper flakes and farro, cook for 5minutes.
11. Stir in the roasted squash and parsley.
12. Remove from heat and stir in the pomegranate seeds and olives before serving.