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Farro Salad with Turkey and Roasted Squash

Farro Salad with Turkey and Roasted Squash

As the leaves turn golden and the air crisp, our taste buds crave warming flavors and cozy textures. Enter the Farro Salad with Turkey and Roasted Squash from Williams-Sonoma – a vibrant symphony of autumnal goodness that’s perfect for a light lunch, a satisfying side, or even a delightful main course.

A Feast for the Senses:

This salad isn’t just visually stunning with its jewel-toned roasted squash cubes, emerald green farro, and pops of ruby cranberries. It’s an explosion of flavor in every bite. The earthy farro, a nutty ancient grain, perfectly complements the caramelized sweetness of the squash. The tangy lemon-honey dressing dances with the smoky notes of the turkey, creating a symphony of sweet and savory. And the crunchy green onions and cranberries add a delightful textural contrast that keeps you coming back for more.

Beyond the Plate:

But this salad’s appeal goes beyond the delicious. It’s a celebration of seasonal ingredients at their peak, showcasing the bounty of the autumn harvest. Plus, it’s packed with nutrients – the protein-rich turkey, fiber-filled farro, and vitamin-loaded squash make it a nourishing and satisfying meal.

Farro Salad with Turkey and Roasted Squash
Farro Salad with Turkey and Roasted Squash

Decoding the Delicious: A Spotlight on the Ingredients in Farro Salad with Turkey and Roasted Squash

A recipe is only as good as the sum of its parts, and the Farro Salad with Turkey and Roasted Squash from Williams-Sonoma is a beautiful testament to that. Let’s dive into the heart and soul of this dish – its key ingredients – and explore the symphony of flavors they create:

1. Farro: The star of the show, farro, is an ancient grain that offers a delightfully chewy texture and nutty, earthy flavor. Packed with protein and fiber, it acts as the hearty base, anchoring the salad with its comforting presence.

2. Chicken Broth: Not just a background player, the broth plays a crucial role in infusing the farro with savory goodness. Choose a flavorful broth, like chicken or vegetable, for added depth.

3. Salt and Pepper: These culinary chameleons work their magic behind the scenes, enhancing the inherent flavors of each ingredient and bringing the harmony of the dish to life. Remember, a pinch goes a long way!

4. Butternut Squash: The queen of autumn vegetables, butternut squash adds vibrant color and sweetness to the salad. Roasting unlocks its caramelized magic, creating tender bites that burst with fall’s essence.

5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This liquid gold provides richness and depth to the roasted squash and forms the base of the vibrant dressing. Choose a good quality oil for an extra punch of flavor.

6. Lemon Juice: A touch of tang! Lemon juice cuts through the richness of the squash and turkey, adding a refreshing brightness that keeps the palate dancing with every bite.

7. Honey: A golden drizzle of sweetness, honey balances the tangy lemon, creating a delightful interplay of flavors in the dressing. It also helps caramelize the roasted squash for an extra depth of flavor.

Farro Salad with Turkey and Roasted Squash
Farro Salad with Turkey and Roasted Squash

8. Parsley: This fresh herb adds a touch of vibrancy and a subtle peppery note to the dressing. Its emerald green flecks bring a visual pop to the salad, making it as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.

9. Boneless Smoked Turkey or Chicken: Smoky and savory, the turkey or chicken adds protein and a satisfying chew to the salad. Feel free to substitute cooked leftover chicken or even chickpeas for a vegetarian twist.

10. Dried Cranberries: These ruby jewels add a burst of sweet-tartness and chewy contrast to the salad. Their vibrant color pops against the earthy tones, making the dish even more visually appealing.

11. Green Onions: The finishing touch! Green onions bring a welcome freshness and a hint of bite. Their delicate crunch counterbalances the softer textures of the other ingredients, adding a playful element to every mouthful.

These ingredients, like well-rehearsed players in an orchestra, come together to create a flavor symphony that celebrates the bounty of autumn. So, gather them up, unleash your inner culinary conductor, and experience the magic of this unforgettable farro salad!

Simplified Farro Salad Instructions:

  1. Cook the Farro: Boil the Farro in broth with salt for 30 minutes, then let it completely cool off.
  2. Roast the Squash: Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast for 12 minutes until tender-firm. Cool.
  3. Make the Dressing: Whisk lemon juice, honey, parsley, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  4. Assemble the Salad: Combine cooled farro, squash, turkey, cranberries, and green onions. Toss with dressing.
  5. Serve and enjoy! Share with six hungry guests.

Pro tip: Adjust salt and pepper to your taste in the dressing and final salad.

Adapted from: Williams-Sonoma’s “Salad of the Day” by Georgeanne Brennan.

Tips & Notes for Farro Salad with Turkey and Roasted Squash:

Roasting the Squash:

  • Skip the peeling: Leave the skin on for richer flavor and extra nutrients. Just wash and chop!
  • Cut evenly: Ensure similar-sized pieces for uniform roasting and texture.
  • Spice it up: Sprinkle chili flakes, cumin, or smoked paprika on the squash for a flavor twist.

Cooking the Farro:

  • Flavor booster: Add a bay leaf or sprig of thyme to the broth while cooking for added depth.
  • Rinsing optional: Some prefer rinsing cooked farro for a lighter texture, but it’s not essential.

Dressing & Assembly:

  • Honey alternatives: Agave nectar or maple syrup can replace honey with a similar sweetness.
  • Make it creamy: Stir in a dollop of Dijon mustard or crumbled feta cheese for a richer texture.
  • Fresh herbs: Swap parsley for dill, mint, or chives for a different herbaceous accent.

Best Pairings:

  • Light & Fresh: Complement the salad’s autumnal flavors with a crisp white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Warm & Cozy: Opt for a medium-bodied red like Pinot Noir or Merlot for a comforting contrast.
  • Beyond Wine: Sparkling cider or a non-alcoholic beverage like cranberry juice are refreshing alternatives.

Add some spicy kick to the dish.

Bonus Ideas:

  • Leftovers: Leftover salad makes a perfect lunch the next day. Just add a touch of extra dressing to revive the flavors.
  • Vegetarian option: Substitute chickpeas or lentils for the turkey for a protein-packed meatless variation.
  • Get creative: Add chopped apples, pears, or pomegranate seeds for extra sweetness and textural contrast.

With these tips and pairings, you can master the Farro Salad with Turkey and Roasted Squash, turning it into a fall favorite that pleases every palate!

Farro Salad with Turkey and Roasted Squash
Farro Salad with Turkey and Roasted Squash

Additional Tips for a Delicious and Successful Farro Salad:

  • Don’t skimp on roasting the squash: Roasting brings out its natural sweetness and creates a caramelized exterior that adds depth of flavor.
  • Use good-quality broth: The broth will be absorbed by the farro, so choose one with a rich flavor for maximum impact.
  • Play with the protein: This recipe is versatile! Substitute chickenduck, or even chickpeas for a vegetarian option.
  • Make it your own: Add crumbled feta cheese, chopped walnuts, or a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds for a personalized touch.

So, why wait? Gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to whip up this autumnal delight. The Farro Salad with Turkey and Roasted Squash from Williams-Sonoma is more than just a recipe – it’s an invitation to savor the season and create a meal that’s as nourishing for the soul as it is for the body.

Bonus Tip: Leftovers? This salad reheats beautifully! Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy it for lunch the next day.

Embrace the Naked Goodness: Why Your Farro Salad Doesn’t Need Dressing (I prefer this Farro Salad without the dressing)

There’s a certain allure to a perfectly crafted dressing, its tangy whispers amplifying the symphony of flavors on your plate. Yet, when it comes to the Farro Salad with Turkey and Roasted Squash, I argue against the conventional wisdom – sometimes, less is truly more.

Embrace the naked salad, my friends, and revel in the marriage of flavors born from the purest alchemy of its ingredients. Here’s why this stripped-down approach deserves a standing ovation:

1. A Canvas of Contrast: Each element shines in its unadulterated state. The earthy farro dances with the caramelized sweetness of the squash, a duet enhanced by the smoky whispers of the turkey. Cranberries provide bursts of sweet-tartness, while green onions introduce a refreshing bite. Each note is distinct yet intricately interwoven, a tapestry woven without a brushstroke of dressing.

2. The Power of Purity: Without the veil of dressing, the natural essence of each ingredient takes center stage. You savor the nutty complexity of the farro, the honeyed nectar of the roasted squash, the gentle smoke of the turkey. It’s a symphony of pure, unadulterated flavors, a testament to the beauty found in simplicity itself.

3. Texture Takes Flight: Each bite becomes a textural adventure. The chewy farro mingles with the tender squash, the crisp cranberries burst against the yielding turkey. The absence of dressing allows these textures to sing, creating a dynamic and playful mouthfeel that keeps you reaching for another forkful.

4. A Celebration of Autumn: This salad is an ode to the bounty of fall. Each ingredient embodies the season’s essence – the robust farro, the jewel-toned squash, the smoky turkey reminiscent of cozy bonfires. Without the dressing, these seasonal flavors stand unmasked, a vibrant celebration of the harvest time.

5. Customize Your Canvas: The naked salad becomes your personal playground. Craving a touch of tang? Squeeze a lemon wedge over your serving. Yearning for richness? Drizzle with a touch of extra virgin olive oil. Want a spicy kick? A sprinkle of chili flakes works wonders. This is your masterpiece, your blank canvas to paint with flavors of your own choosing.

So, next time you whip up this autumnal delight, consider ditching the dressing. Embrace the symphony of pure flavors, the dance of textures, and the unadulterated celebration of fall. You might just discover that in this case, less truly is more – a naked masterpiece that sings to the soul with every bite.

Now go forth and roast, toss, and enjoy!

Farro Salad with Turkey and Roasted Squash

Farro Salad with Turkey and Roasted Squash

This hearty and flavorful farro salad is perfect for a fall lunch or side dish.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course, Salads and Veggies, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 468 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/3 cups about 8 oz. farro
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 1/4 tsp. salt plus more, to taste
  • 1 butternut squash about 3 lb., halved, seeded, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 8 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper plus more, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 6 oz. boneless smoked turkey or chicken cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 3 green onions including tender green portions, thinly sliced

Instructions
 

  • Put the farro in a saucepan, add the broth and 1 tsp. of the salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the farro is tender and all of the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 400°F.
  • On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash cubes with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil, 1 tsp. of the salt and the 1/4 tsp. pepper. Spread the cubes in an even layer on the baking sheet and roast until tender but still slightly firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, parsley, the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and several grindings of pepper. Add the remaining 6 Tbs. olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly until the dressing is well blended. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Add the dressing, squash, turkey, cranberries and green onions to the cooled farro and toss well. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Notes

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Salad of the Day, by Georgeanne Brennan (Weldon Owen, 2012).
Roasting the Squash:
  • Skip the peeling: Leave the skin on for richer flavor and extra nutrients. Just wash and chop!
  • Cut evenly: Ensure similar-sized pieces for uniform roasting and texture.
  • Spice it up: Sprinkle chili flakes, cumin, or smoked paprika on the squash for a flavor twist.
Cooking the Farro:
  • Flavor booster: Add a bay leaf or sprig of thyme to the broth while cooking for added depth.
  • Rinsing optional: Some prefer rinsing cooked farro for a lighter texture, but it’s not essential.
Dressing & Assembly:
  • Honey alternatives: Agave nectar or maple syrup can replace honey with a similar sweetness.
  • Make it creamy: Stir in a dollop of Dijon mustard or crumbled feta cheese for a richer texture.
  • Fresh herbs: Swap parsley for dill, mint, or chives for a different herbaceous accent.
Best Pairings:
  • Light & Fresh: Complement the salad’s autumnal flavors with a crisp white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Warm & Cozy: Opt for a medium-bodied red like Pinot Noir or Merlot for a comforting contrast.
  • Beyond Wine: Sparkling cider or a non-alcoholic beverage like cranberry juice are refreshing alternatives.
Add some spicy kick to the dish.
Bonus Ideas:
  • Leftovers: Leftover salad makes a perfect lunch the next day. Just add a touch of extra dressing to revive the flavors.
  • Vegetarian option: Substitute chickpeas or lentils for the turkey for a protein-packed meatless variation.
  • Get creative: Add chopped apples, pears, or pomegranate seeds for extra sweetness and textural contrast.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 468kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 13gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0.002gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 1343mgPotassium: 700mgFiber: 10gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 13427IUVitamin C: 32mgCalcium: 91mgIron: 3mg

Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.

Keyword butternut squash recipe, dried cranberries, fall salad, farro, flavorful, hearty meal, lunch
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Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.

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Corn Allergy:

Always choose ingredients without corn or corn derivatives.

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