Monday, December 2, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash & Chickpea Salad.

I love the idea of a warm winter "salad." Something healthy but still hearty and filling, with no boring lettuce combinations or bottled dressings involved! I get stuck making too much pasta during winter months when motivation is lacking. For those types of days {and let's be honest, weeks} Food and Wine has an article including delicious photos of warm winter salads that I am adding to my list.

I made this warm farro salad as a side dish for Thanksgiving, but I think it makes a great vegetarian main dish too. I'm planning on mixing this recipe up over the next few months by using quinoa, cranberries, and different versions of squash.

Roasted Butternut Squash & Chickpea Salad
Serves 4 as a main dish, 8+ as a side.

1 butternut squash, cubed
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 can garbanzo beans
1 Tablespoon maple syrup {use Grade A or B if possible}
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup farro
2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
3 cups spinach
3/4 cup tart dried cherries
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Step 1 ~ Prepare and roast the butternut squash.
  • Peel, cut and cube the butternut squash. Mix the cubes with 3 Tablespoons of melted butter and add the brown sugar. Stir until everything is distributed. This will 'carmelize' the squash while roasting.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes for even roasting.

Step 2 ~ Cook farro
  • Bring 2 cups vegetable broth and 1 cup farro to a boil. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. 
  • When most of the liquid has been absorbed, add the spinach and cover. Stir occasionally until wilted.

Step 3 ~ Roast the chickpeas and broccoli.
  • Rinse chickpeas thoroughly with water and pat dry with a towel.
  • Toss chickpeas with 1 Tablespoon maple syrup and a dash of salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper, making sure the chickpeas are evenly spread. Stir every 10 minutes while roasting.
  • Toss the chopped broccoli with 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Stir once while roasting.

Step 4 - Prepare the dressing and mix.
  • For the dressing, whisk the following:
    • 2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 Tablespoons spicy dijon mustard 
    • 4 teaspoons maple syrup
    • 2 teaspoon cider vinegar
    • Dash of salt and pepper
  • Mix the farro and spinach combination with the roasted broccoli, chickpeas, and dried cherries. Top with dressing and stir. Serve warm!

{Adapted from Farro and Pear Roasted Chickpea SaladIna Garten's Carmelized Butternut Squash recipe, and Martha Stewart's Fall Salad with Maple Vinaigrette}

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