Farro Salad with Butternut Squash

Farro Salad with Butternut Squash

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

Heck. Yes.

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.

No regrets!

Farro Salad with Butternut Squash

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

 

Farro Salad with Butternut Squash
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 
Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. When the farro is tender, drain & place in a large serving bowl.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

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Butternut Squash & Beet Salad with Pistachio Crusted Goat Cheese

Butternut Squash Beet Salad with Pistachio Crusted Goat Cheese

I’m going old-school with this recipe.

Circa the ’90s with these delicious pistachio-crusted goat cheese balls.

(The closest recipe I could find on FoodNetwork.com was from the year 2000 😉 )

I’m not sure why goat cheese balls ever left the scene… cause they’re amazing.

I was totally conflicted when developing this recipe about whether I should pan fry the goat cheese balls & make them warm & gooey, or whether I should leave them cool & fresh.

Although I absolutely love fried goat cheese, I went with the later to help balance out the roasted flavors of the beets and butternut squash.

Butternut Squash Beet Salad with Pistachio Crusted Goat Cheese | Salad Recipe

To make things more interesting, I also added a nice kick of fresh minced thyme to the pistachio coating. It bumps up volume & adds another layer of flavor to each yummy cheesy bite.

This recipe is totally impressive & hits all the right notes (salty, sweet, savory, yum).

It makes a great light supper when served with some creamy tomato soup topped with croutons. Mmm.

What do you think? Do you still love goat cheese balls?? Let me know in the comments below.

Butternut Squash Beet Salad with Pistachio Crusted Goat Cheese | Goat Cheese Salad Recipe

Butternut Squash & Beet Salad with Pistachio Crusted Goat Cheese
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 cups of peeled beets, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • Drizzle of olive oil, for roasting
  • Kosher salt & cracked black pepper, for seasoning
  • 1 cup roasted salted shelled pistachio pieces
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 10 oz log of goat cheese
  • 8 oz herb salad mix mixed baby greens with fresh herbs
  • Juice of 1/2 large lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Freshly shaved parmesan cheese optional, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the butternut squash on one half of a large rimmed baking sheet, and place the beets on the other half. Drizzle the squash & beet with olive oil & season with kosher salt & ground black pepper. Use your hands to mix the butternut squash & evenly coat with oil & seasoning. Then do the same for the beets (don't do the beets first or you'll turn all the squash red!).
  2. Place the baking sheet in the oven & roast the squash & beets for 40 minutes, or until the beets are fork tender. Remove from the oven & set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, prep the goat cheese balls. Place the pistachios in a mini food processor & grind until finely chopped (you can hand chop them if you don't have a food processor). Place in a small bowl & toss with the fresh thyme.
  4. Form the fresh goat cheese into 16 evenly sized balls (there will be 4 balls per salad serving). Roll the balls in the pistachio-thyme mixture, & set aside on a plate. Reserve the leftover pistachio mixture for sprinkling on the salads when serving.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey, shallot, extra virgin olive oil, salt, & pepper. Place the herb salad mix in a large bowl & drizzle lightly with dressing (just enough to lightly coat). Use your hands to toss the salad & evenly coat.
  6. Divide the salad amongst 4 serving plate. Top with 1/4th of the beets and butternut squash, 4 goat cheese balls, & some fresh shaved parmesan cheese, if desired. Sprinkle with extra pistachio-thyme mixture & drizzle with some more dressing. Serve immediately. (It makes a great meal served with some warm tomato soup)
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Blue Cheese Steak Salad

Blue Cheese Steak Salad | ericajulson.com

Mmmm I love this salad.

It’s so decadent & awesome & makes you feel fancy.

Steak just always does that to me.

But fancy doesn’t always mean difficult!

In fact, this recipe doesn’t take any special culinary skills. Just chop a bunch of veggies & lay them out in pretty bowls, broil some ribeye steaks, hardboil some eggs,  shake together some salad dressing ingredients, & make yourself a salad!

How gorgeous are these proteins?

Steak and Eggs for Salad | ericajulson.com

This is the type of salad that’s fun to eat out of a gigantic bowl.

Just plop everything you desire in your bowl, drizzle with dressing, and toss to coat. By using a gigantic bowl, you don’t have to worry about everything falling out over the sides. Winning!

I love how everyone can make their own salad exactly how they like it. This sure solves picky-eater problems!

I serve this salad with creamy homemade blue cheese dressing.

But if you want to get even MORE fancy, you could totally put out a variety of dressings that satisfy the whole family.

I try to eat giant salads for dinner at least once a week.

It’s a fabulous way to clean out the fridge & use up scraps of extra veggies, beans, nuts & seeds, dried fruit, and proteins.

Plus, it’s an easy and delicious way to eat a bunch of veggies.

I’ve included some of my favorite salad vegetables in this recipe, but feel free to get creative & add your own beloved salad mix-ins.

Here’s the spread, in all its glory:

Blue Cheese Steak Salad Spread | ericajulson.com

Blue Cheese Steak Salad
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 hearts of romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 4 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of scallions, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 large boneless ribeye steaks, roughly 1.25-1.5 lbs
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • optional: croutons
Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise watch oil type, if corn or soy sensitive
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese mounded
Instructions
  1. Place all of the prepped vegetables in small bowls & set aside so each person can prepare their own salads later.
  2. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil & reduce the heat so the water is barely simmering. Use a large spoon to carefully add the eggs to the pot, and let simmer for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, place the lid on the pot, and let rest for 10-12 minutes undisturbed. Remove the eggs from the pot and rinse under cool water. Place in the fridge to further cool.
  3. Preheat the broiler on high. Season the steaks liberally on both sides with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Place the steaks in the broiler and broil on high for 5 minutes on the first side, and 3 minutes on the second side for medium doneness. (Note: the temperature of oven broilers can vary significantly! This cook time was accurate for my old stove with a broiler section on the bottom of the oven).
  4. Remove the steak to a plate, tent with foil, and let rest for at least 5 minutes.
  5. Place all of the dressing ingredients in a mason jar. Screw the lid on tightly and shake with all your might! (If you don’t have a mason jar, just whisk the ingredients in a bowl). Add a splash of water if you want your dressing to be a little thinner.
  6. Remove the hardboiled eggs from the fridge, peel, and slice crosswise.
  7. Slice the steak against the grain into thin slices and set aside.
  8. Have each person grab a bowl and create their own salad from all of the wonderful fixings. Top with homemade blue cheese dressing and enjoy!

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