Unlike most of you, I wait until the end of January to make my new year’s resolutions. After the whirlwind of the holidays it takes me a good month to just get back into my old
bad habits routine. Trying to add in some brand new behaviors is setting myself up to fail.
So I take January to do some mental and physical housekeeping. I organize my files. I get back into a regular exercise routine. You get the picture. And then toward the end of the month I make my list of “to-dos” (or “don’ts”) for the coming year.
Number one on this year’s list?
Keep it simple.
If there is a way to take a basic task and make it more time-consuming and complicated, sign me up. And as I find that life keeps getting busier and my free time is growing ever more compromised—well, it’s time to do something about that.
Starting with mealtime. Today’s recipe is a healthy, delicious and VERY giving side dish/main dish/lunch. I took a class recently at a local gourmet/catering shop. One of the best take-aways of that night was the importance and value of incorporating more whole grains into my diet. I was surprised at how delicious and versatile they could be.
If you’re new to cooking with whole grains (as I was), this is a great dish to start with. I love this farro salad and so does my family. It is a perfect complement to a simple chicken dinner and makes for a fabulous and filling lunch over the next few days. Even better, it is infinitely adaptable. You can swap the walnuts for pecans, the cranberries for currants, the feta for goat cheese. And, it gets even better over time as the flavors continue to develop (how many dishes can you say that for??).
Happy New Year (a little late!)
Farro Salad with Butternut Squash
adapted from Answers en Croute 
One small butternut squash (about 2 lbs)
1 cup pearled farro (if using unpearled, soak the farro overnight before cooking)
One shallot, minced and sauteed in 1 t. olive oil*
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1-1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Juice and zest of one large lemon
Chopped parsley, to taste
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
chopped feta (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel the squash, cut it into cubes and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt to taste. Roast for twenty to thirty minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.
While the squash is roasting, prepare the farro: in a large saucepan, cover the farro with five cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for twenty minutes (adding more water if needed). Add 1 teaspoon salt and continue to cook until tender, about ten minutes longer.
When the farro has finished cooking, drain any remaining water and combine with the squash, parsley, shallots, 2 tablespoon olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and zest, cranberries and walnuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow the flavors to develop for a few hours (or overnight) and serve warm or at room temperature, passing feta separately.
- next time I would thinly slice the shallot and roast it with the squash. It saves a step, a pan and clean-up time. Win. Win. Win.