I served this at a “girls’ night out” and it was a huge hit.   Farro makes it nutty, chewy and filling.  You could also substitute quinoa for gluten-free friends.  It holds well in the fridge for a few days.  Just don’t add the cilantro and walnuts until ready to serve and serve at room temperature for optimal flavor.

Serves 4 generously

Tahini Dressing

Makes ½ cup.  Extra can be used as salad dressing later.)

2 ½ Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 Tablespoons tahini

1 Tablespoon warm water

1 garlic clove, finely grated

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

¼ cup olive oil

 

Salad

 

1 pound butternut squash peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes

1 ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 cup farro, before cooking

¼ cup golden raisins

1 cup chickpeas

¾ teaspoon pure maple syrup

1/3 cup tahini dressing, recipe above

½ cup chopped cilantro

¼ cup toasted walnuts

 

METHOD

Dressing

Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and whisking well.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Toss squash and olive oil together and spread out on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes, until lightly golden and tender.

Cook farro in a pot of boiling water (like pasta) until chewy but tender, about 20-30 minutes.

Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking.

Soak raisins in warm tap water for a few minutes, until they are soft and plump.

Toss squash, farro, raisins, chickpeas, maple syrup, and dressing together gently in a bowl.

Add the cilantro and walnuts just before serving.

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