Butternut, Beet, and Farro Salad

Margie Bruner - Glory Kitchenby: Margie Bruner, owner of Glory Kitchen
instagram
facebook

One of the very best flavors of fall is roasted vegetables of the season – and butternut squash is probably on the top of my personal list.  The flavors of this veggie are THE best.  Here I’ve tossed them in a delicious Butternut, Beet, and Farro Salad – which celebrates this beautiful season’s flavors and colors.   I experimented with a purple sweet potato which was interesting and tasty, however, I think I might prefer the flavor of a typical sweet potato even better.

Let me begin by saying, butternut squash is amazingly tasty when roasted.  The only draw back, it has a very tough exterior and is difficult to peel and slice through with a knife.  My easy solution is to purchase this veggie already precut in the grocery store.  I’ve seen it at Whole Foods and a few other stores already cut into cubes, and although I did hand cut this one myself, it is soooo much easier to skip this step and buy it pre-cut.  After it is roasted and softened in a hot oven, I also like to turn on the broiler for just a few minutes to brown and crisp up some of the tops.  Remember, to never walk away from a broiler or you’ll risk burning your beautiful vegetables… it only takes a minute to brown the tops so stand right by the oven with the light on and keep your eyes glued to the window.

Another important step in making this Butternut, Beet, and Farro Salad is to “massage” your kale as the very first step.  That means chopping your fresh kale, drizzling it with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a sprinkle of our Provence nut & spice mix, then working it with your hands, massaging and breaking down the tough leaves.  Then set the large bowl of massaged kale aside while you prepare the rest of your salad ingredients.  The longer it sits, the softer and more seasoned your kale will become.  If  you thought you didn’t like kale because it was a tough and bitter green, this prep method might change your mind completely.

And finally, the dressing.  This is one of my very favorite french vinaigrette dressing combinations and it works on so many different types of salads.  If you commit it to memory and have the basic ingredients on hand, you’ll always  be ready to whip up a fresh and delicious vinaigrette instead of resorting to an old refrigerator jar most likely filled with unfamiliar chemicals.  This dressing is brought to life with a teaspoon of Provence nut & spice mix, dijon mustard, and a drizzle of maple syrup (you can always substitute honey instead of the syrup).  Don’t let the fall season pass you by without roasting a large batch of butternut squash and throwing it into not only this salad, but also in pasta, rice bowls, or even pureed to create a delicious sauce.

Butternut, Beet, and Farro Salad

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

    for the dressing:
  • 1 teaspoon Provence nut & spice mix
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • good pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • for the salad:
  • 1 small-med butternut squash
  • 5-7 beets
  • 2 purple sweet potatoes (or regular sweet potatoes)
  • olive oil
  • 5-6 leaves of fresh kale
  • 1 cup farro
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons Provence nut & spice mix
  • 8-10 stalks fresh kale
  • olive oil

Instructions

    for the dressing:
  1. Whisk together the ingredients for the french vinaigrette dressing and set aside.
  2. for the salad:
  3. Wash and dry the kale well. Remove the leaves from the thickest part of the kale stems and discard the stems. Chop the kale into small pieces - I like to chop them into smaller than bite-sized pieces. Add all the kale into a very large mixing bowl, drizzle with olive oil (about 2 teaspoons), sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and about 1 teaspoon of Provence nut blend. Using your hands, massage the oil and spices into the kale. Continue massaging for a while until the kale becomes well coated and a bit softer. Set aside.
  4. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil, add the dry farro, 2 teaspoons Provence nut & spice mix and a good pinch of salt. Cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave the pot covered for an additional 5-10 minutes. Remove lid, fluff, and allow to cool.
  5. Peel and cube each of the butternut squash, beets and sweet potato. Place the cubes on baking sheets, making certain to separate out the beets from the sweet potato and butternut because the intensely red juices from the beets will bleed onto the other veggies. Drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and toss well to coat the vegetables. Place the trays into a hot 425° oven for about 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables become tender. Once they are somewhat tender I like to put them under the broiler to lightly brown & crisp a few of the tops. Immediately remove from the oven and allow them all to cool.
  6. In a serving bowl, arrange the kale, farro, roasted veggies and finally drizzle with the french vinaigrette dressing. You can either present these salads with each ingredient sectioned out or toss in a large bowl with the dressing and serve into bowls. Enjoy!

Butternut, Beet, and Farro Salad - Glory Kitchen
Butternut, Beet & Farro Salad - Glory Kitchen
Butternut, Beet & Farro Salad - Glory Kitchen
Butternut, Beet & Farro Salad - Glory Kitchen
Butternut, Beet & Farro Salad - Glory Kitchen
Butternut, Beet & Farro Salad - Glory Kitchen