Guyzzzz my world has been rocked, my eyes happened been opened to the fabulous world of farro. I eat a ton of rice and a ton of quinoa, and every once and while I feel like changing up my grain game.
This Kale Butternut Squash Farro Salad is the perfect zesty yet nutty fall comfort food. The lemon in this recipe balances out the natural bitterness of the kale while the farro and butternut squash come together to add a sweet nutty flavor. And if you are questioning using grapeseed oil – DON’T, it should honestly be in every kitchen. The flavor is amazing. grapeseed oil has a clean, light taste that holds flavor quite well. Because of its neutral taste, it is often used as a base in salad dressings. Pass me a fork already!
The best part – this salad is wonderful leftover a couple days later. I am all about having homemade leftovers lately!
So what is farro you might be asking (because a year ago I was asking the same question!). Farro is a type of hulled wheat, that is typically used in salads, soups, and side dishes.
I am sad to say that farro is not gluten-free, but it is considerably lower in gluten than wheat, and partly because it has not been bred over thousands of years for maximum yield and other qualities, it is more easily digestible by the human body than most other forms of wheat.
While it might be better than regular pasta on my gluten-hating intestines, I will be sticking to quinoa for the most part; however, farro is so tasty that I know I won’t be able to stop myself from cooking with it every now and then.
In terms of portion sizes, farro doesn’t expand as much as rice or barley. So I tend to make a bit more than I would other grains. Where I would have started with 1 cup of uncooked rice or barley, I’ll use 1 and 1/2 cups of uncooked farro.
If you have never peeled and cut butternut squash before, there are great instructions here!
- 1 medium butternut squash
- bunch of kale, 4-5 cups chopped kale
- 2 cups uncooked farro
- ½ cup diced shallot
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and position a rack in the center of the oven.
- Peal and cut butternut squash into cubes.
- Toss butternut squash cubes in 1.5 tablespoons olive oil, teaspoon sea salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, turning once. You don’t want it to get mushy, just tender.
- In a rice cooker, cook 2 cups farro with 5 cups water, stock or a combination of both. I also like to add a little olive oil. Cook the farro on the brown rice setting.
- Heat 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil in pan over medium heat. When the oil is warm (starts to move in the pan or bubble), add shallots. Cook for two minutes.
- Add 4-5 cups of chopped kale into skillet with juice of 1 lemon. Once the kale starts to become soft, you will want to add in the farro and butternut squash.