ROASTED DELICATA SQUASH SALAD with TOASTED FARRO & MAPLE VINAIGRETTE
Roasted vegetables, particularly roasted squash, are nature's autumn candy. Farro, a fiber-packed whole wheat ancient grain, adds a chewy texture and nutty taste that compliments the nutty and salty Swiss gruyere cheese.
Nota bene: Even if greens come prewashed, the salad will be more lively if placed in cold water for 5 minutes and spun drive. The farro may be cooked 1 day in advance and the dressing 2 to 3 days in advance. The greens mixture is best when a bit of bitter greens such as frisée, swiss chard, and arugula are added.
FOR THE SALAD
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place the squash and the onion on a half sheet baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Using hands, toss the squash and onions until all surfaces are lightly oiled. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the squash is cooked and the onions are golden brown (the squash may need to be removed before the onion and reserved.
In a large skillet, toast the farro over medium-high heat. Shake the skillet occasionally, until the farro is aromatic and slightly golden (about 2 to 3 minutes).
Transfer the toasted farro to a medium saucepan. Cover with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, uncovered, until farro is tender (20-25 minutes). Drain farro, and allow to cool to room temperature.
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
- In a blender or a food processor, combine the shallot, ginger, mustard, maple syrup, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Whir until well blended.
- While the motor is running on low speed, pour the oil in gradually and blend until the dressing is emulsified.
- Season to taste with salt & pepper.
- Put the greens and cranberries in a large WOODEN BOWL and gently toss with a small amount of the vinaigrette.
- Place the greens on a large platter, top with the farro and arrange the roasted vegetables. Sprinkle with the cheese and the pomegranate seeds.
- Drizzle a bit more dressing over the platter just before serving.
FOR THE SALAD
1 delicata squash, sliced into 1/2" circles & centers cleaned
1 large red onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2" wedges (leave core)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup farro
4 cups combination winter greens (arugula, chard, friseé, spinach, kale, baby romaine)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup shredded gruyere
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper