Butternut Squash Salad with Farro and Pepitas

This wonderful recipe is endlessly adaptive. We make it with Full Belly Farm wheat berries instead of farro, pine nuts or sliced almonds or walnuts instead of pepitas, chevre or feta instead of ricotta salata, and any kind of winter squash that we fancy. You can swap out the red onions for shallots or another kind of onion and the sherry vinegar for red wine or white vinegar. Have fun!

origin: Smitten Kitchen, Deb Perlman

1 butternut squash or other winter squash
5-6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup semi-pearled farro or wheatberries or barley
1/3 cup toasted pepitas or a nut of your choice
3 ounces salty cheese (ricotta salata, feta or chevre)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 small red onion or other allium, coarsely chopped


Preheat the oven to 375.  Peel squash, then halve lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Cut the squash into 3/4 " chunks.  Put the chunks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.  Spread out the squash in a single layer.  Roast 30-40 minutes, until tender.  Set aside to cool a bit.

In the meantime, cook the farro.  Warm a large pot of water on the stove.  When the water is simmering, add the farro and cook until tender (about 30 minutes).  Drain and cool slightly.

While the squash is roasting and the farro is simmering, in a small bowl, whisk together the sherry vinegar, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt and granulated sugar until the sugar and salt dissolve.  Stir in the onion.  Set this mixture in the fridge until needed.  

In a large bowl, mix together the butternut squash, farro, the onion and vinegar mixture, the crumble cheese and the pepitas.  Toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil, and use the fourth only if needed.  Adjust salt and add pepper to taste.  This salad will keep in the fridge for up to a week.