Sometimes I just don’t feel like eating a cold, lettuce based salad when it is still cold and blustery outside. You know? Luckily, grain based salads like this warm farro salad with roasted root vegetables can come to the rescue! This salad includes some of my favorite root veggies: butternut squash and rainbow carrots but can easily be adapted to whatever roasted vegetables you may have on hand. To incorporate some greens, I also sauted a bag of spinach with lots of garlic since you can’t have a salad without a little bit of green. 😉
Now you may be wondering, what is farro? Farro is ancient grain in the wheat family. I picked it up from the bulk bins at Whole Foods the first time about a year ago. I am always looking to experiment with new ingredients in the kitchen! When cooked, farro has a chewy texture and a slightly nutty flavor. It reminds me a lot of barley, but has a bit more bite to it after cooking. Nutrition-wise, farro is similar to other whole grains with 7 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein per 1/2 cup cooked farro. If you can’t find farro, you can definitely replace it with your favorite grain/starch like barley, quinoa, brown rice, or wheat berries. You’ll need 2 cups of cooked grain to make this salad if using something other than farro.
- 1 cup farro
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 1 cup roasted butternut squash
- 2 cups roasted carrots
- 1 (5 oz.) bag baby spinach
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ lemon juiced (~1/2 tablespoon lemon juice)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup crumbled goat cheese
- Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add the farro and cook until tender. (Same way you would make pasta!) Drain water and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Cut the squash into cubes and transfer to mixing bowl. Peel the carrots, cut in half and then into quarters lengthwise. Toss squash and carrots in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake until tender and lightly browned, about 45-60 minutes.
- Add your cooked farro and roasted vegetable to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a non-stick skillet, heat up the olive oil for 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes or until spinach has started to wilt. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute. Season with salt and ground black pepper and add to the mixing bowl with the farro and vegetables.
- Stir in the lemon juice, zest, vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and goat cheese. Season with additional salt and pepper. Serve warm or chilled.