This is a giant bowl of everything delicious.
- Nutty farro
- Sweet and tender caramelized red onions
- Creamy butternut squash
- Sweet-tart cranberries
- Salty pepitas and sunflower seeds
- Shaved brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale
- All tossed with a decadent brown butter sage sauce
It takes the salty-sweet-creamy-savory thing to a whole other level.
Side Note: I sort of cheated with this recipe.
I was perusing Trader Joes, throwing random ingredients into my cart, when this recipe came together in my head.
So, I took some short cuts that I could only find at Trader Joes.
Rather than using regular dried farro, which takes about an hour to cook, I picked up Trader Joe’s quick-cooking farro that’s done in 12 minutes.
Instead of shredding my own brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage, I picked up a bag of Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch Collection.
And it made my life a whole lot easier.
All I really had to do was roast the squash and onions, quickly boil and drain the farro, brown the butter and sage (it takes like 3 minutes), and toss everything together!
Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
But anyways, this recipe is bomb. Each bite is so darn flavorful I can’t even stand it.
The brown butter sauce with little crispy pieces of fried sage… gah… so yum.
I didn’t have any fresh parmesan on hand, but I bet adding some fresh shaves of parm over the top would make it even better.
This would make a great side for Thanksgiving or another family gathering.
It makes A LOT! So feel free to freeze the leftovers for a rainy day.
You could totally top a bowl of this with a fried egg and call it a day. Perfect for brunch or dinner.
Farro Salad with Butternut Squash
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
- 1/2 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
- 3 small red onions, peeled, halved, and cut into 3/4 inch slices
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Kosher salt & cracked black pepper, to taste
- 3 cups quick-cooking farro (or regular farro)
- 1/3 cup roasted & salted sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup roasted & salted pepitas
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 (10 oz) bag Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch Collection (or 10 oz blend of shaved brussels sprouts, kale, green, and purple cabbage)
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter
- 20 fresh sage leaves
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Optional: 1 cup fresh shavings of Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the cubed butternut squash on one large baking sheet, and the sliced red onions on another. Drizzle both with olive oil & season with a generous sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Use your hands to toss the veggies to evenly coat with oil and seasonings.
When the oven is done preheating, add the tray of butternut squash and the tray of onions to the oven. Cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally for even browning. The squash is done when it is fork-tender and lightly browned, and the onions are done when they are nicely caramelized and tender.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farro & cook according to package instructions (either 12 minutes for quick cooking, or about 1 hour for regular farro).
When the farro is tender, drain & place in a large serving bowl.
When the squash and onions are done cooking, transfer to the large bowl with the farro. Toss to combine. Add the sunflower seeds, pepitas, cranberries, and cruciferous veggies, and toss again to combine.
In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sage leaves and cook, stirring continuously, until the melted butter is golden brown (but not burned). Turn off the heat & add the juice of 1 lemon. Stir, then pour over the farro salad. Toss to combine and serve right away, topped with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese if you want!
Mmmm… fresh juice.
I ALMOST asked whether there was a better way to start your morning… but…. coffee.
But, fresh juice takes a solid second place in my book.
My favorite part about fresh juice is the endless flavor combinations.
Fruits, veggies, even herbs & spices. They can all take part.
Right now I’m all about the fall flavors;
Love love love.
You can make some deliciously rich & earthy juices by combining these seasonal produce items.
This week, however, I happened to pick up a gigantic bag of grapefruit.
Since I’m the only one who likes grapefruit in this house… I knew I could never finish the bag before they started to go south.
I have an amazing Champion Juicer, which I use all the time to make delicious fresh juices.
Yes, it’s an investment, but you end up saving a ton of money when you make your own fresh juice, rather than splashing out $8 a pop at fancy juice shops.
Plus, you know it’s the freshest possible, since you literally made it right before your eyes.
It’s a pretty easy process- just assemble the juicer, turn it on, and run the fruits and veggies through the funnel. Fresh juice drains out of the bottom, and the pulp is ejected out of the tube at the end.
Check out my last juice post for some creative things to do with that leftover pulp, and my opinions on juicing vs blending.
In the meantime, I highly recommend investing in a juicer and making this yummy apple grapefruit ginger juice.
It packs a nice punch with the tang from the grapefruit & zing of the ginger, but it’s mellowed nicely by the sweet apple flavor.
This is a fab breakfast juice to go with a weekend brunch, or a nice pick-me-up on the way to work. (check out these super awesome sippable mason jar lids– they make it easy to take juice on the go!)
Um, also, if you haven’t put two & two together yet… owning a juicer = super fresh and tasty orange juice, which = amazing fresh mimosas. 😉
Apple Grapefruit Ginger Juice
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
- 3 red apples, cored and cut into quarters
- 3 grapefruit, peeled & cut into pieces that will fit in your juicer
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
It’s the kind of warm, comforting, nourishing food I crave.
The warm broth, the earthy mushrooms & kale, and tons of delicious whole grains.
This kind of food just makes me feel GOOD.
Warm, happy tummy. Lightness. Nourishment. Gratitude.
Man, it just reminds me how much I appreciate home cooking.
Seriously, nothing pre-made or store bought will ever compare to the smells, tastes, and textures or homemade soups & stews.
I’m obsessed with the way a warm pot on the stove permeates the house with an enticing aroma and brings everyone together in anticipation of a delicious family meal.
The entire process of cooking- the shopping, the prep, the cooking, the serving, and the communal meal- brings me a sense of almost meditative calm. It’s my favorite way to cap off the day & reflect with gratitude on the events that occurred. Truly, nothing is better.
In the great words of Michael Pollan, “In the kitchen, you can reclaim the present.”
Do you agree? How does cooking resonate with you??
Mushroom Kale Barley Stew
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts halved & thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 8 oz white button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups barley (or short grain brown rice for a gluten-free option)
- 8 cups (2 quarts) vegetable stock
- 1 (8 oz) bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, like chardonnay
- Freshly grated Romano cheese, for serving (optional)
- Garlic bread or crusty baguette, for serving on the side (optional)
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large dutch oven or soup pot. Warm over medium heat, then add the leeks. Season with fresh cracked salt & pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, and add the mushrooms and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
Add the garlic, rosemary, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently to prevent the garlic from burning.
When the garlic is fragrant, add the can of tomatoes, barley, and 6 cups of vegetable stock. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 30 minutes.
After the stew has been simmering for 30 minutes, uncover, add the kale, 2 more cups of vegetable stock, and 1/2 cup wine. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, until the kale is tender and the stew has the desired texture (it will absorb more liquid and become thicker as it sits).
Ladle into bowls and top with grated romano cheese. Serve with garlic bread or a crusty baguette for dipping! This stew makes great leftovers- the flavors deepen as it rests.