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Fall Farro Salad

Farro is such a versatile grain and can take on whatever flavors you throw its way, whether it be the deep and bold flavors of fall and winter or the brightness of spring and summer. This is a guideline recipe and make it your own by swapping out vegetables, etc., to suit your taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups farro
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled,  cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 2 fennel bulbs cut into matchstick slices, fronds discarded
  • 1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups celery sliced into 1/4 inch half moons with leaves minced
  • 4 shallots peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • Parmigiano Reggiano for grating
  • Fresh parsley washed and dried, leaves removed from stems
  • 6 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees with a rack placed in the center oven location.
  2. In a deep pot (as if you’re making pasta) bring water and 1/4 cup of kosher salt to a rolling boil.
  3. Place butternut squash and Brussels sprouts on a parchment lined sheet pan. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast for approximately 20 minutes (checking throughout) until tender. Place into serving bowl.
  4. Sauté the fennel slices in olive oil and season with a touch of salt and pepper until deeply caramelized. Set aside in a serving bowl.
  5. Sauté celery and shallots until tender and add mushrooms, continuing to cook until all vegetables are tender and cooked through. Place in the same serving bowl with the fennel.
  6. While the vegetables are cooking, make your vinaigrette. In a bowl whisk the balsamic vinegar with the salt and pepper. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil until you have an emulsion. Taste for seasoning and acid. Adjust accordingly, if needed.
  7. Place the farro into the rolling boil of the nicely salted water. Cook until al dente (to the tooth) – – you can check this by occasionally removing a couple of grains and testing them. When finished, drain in a colander and pour into the bowl with the vegetables. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the mixture in the bowl so the warm farro can absorb the vinaigrette and flavors.
  8. Mince some fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley and fold it into the salad. In addition, grate the Parmigiano Reggiano and fold that in as well, tasting for balance of flavor.
  9. Serve at room temperature.

Butternut squash and Brussels sprouts ready for roasting

Fennel nicely caramelized to deliver flavor

 

 

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