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recipes & wine pairings

Always vegan.

Farro Salad Stuffed Squash + Wine Pairing

Farro Salad Stuffed Squash + Wine Pairing

Nutrition alert. This squash (yeah I’m still squash obsessed #notsorry) is stuffed with an amazing warm farro salad with kale, dried cranberries, pomegranate, celery, walnuts— basically all the delicious Fall things. This dish tastes like a mouth-full of Thanksgiving and I could eat it over and over again.

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For anyone wondering, “what the heck is farro?”, it’s an ancient grain (a little bigger than a grain of rice) that tastes nutty and is slightly chewy. Farro is pretty versatile and can even be used in place of rice to make a risotto. I like using this grain in the Fall and Winter since the nutty flavor goes so well with the seasonal produce (lol yeah, I mean squash). This squash feels hearty and light at the same time and is sure to be a hit in any crowd. It’s easily sliced up and served (shout out to food that serves as it’s own vessel) or just eat an entire half on your own like me and my hungry hippo husband do.

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Initially, I was going to pair this recipe with a red wine and I still think I could find one that pairs well, but I ultimately decided on a white wine after tasting the farro salad. The first time I tried Riesling, it was warm and directly out of the extremely cheap bottle at a high school party (to this day I have no clue who’s apartment that was). Needless to say, it didn’t really taste great…The second time I tried Riesling was at dinner with my great uncle who’s a certified wine educator with over 35 years of experience in the wine industry. The wine came with great food and a healthy dose of Riesling education. I loved all of it.

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The hilarious thing about the Riesling I chose is that it was literally created to be paired with Asian food, specifically Chinese takeout. Clearly, this recipe is not that. It is, however, delicious with this wine. The Riesling I paired this recipe with is Kung Fu Girl 2016 (Washington State). I found it in my local wine store and recommend you try it, too. This wine is surprisingly dry with some fruity apricot notes that play nice with the dried cranberries in this dish. It pairs even better if you add some crushed red pepper to the salad- this wine really was made to go with a nice spicy dish after all. You can certainly use another wine that you like or can find locally. 

If you try this recipe, let me know! If you pair yours with a different wine, let me know how it goes! Leave a comment below, or share a picture on instagram with #datkindlife . Stay kind, bbs!

Warm Farro Salad Stuffed Squash

Prep Time: 15 mins  Cook Time: 30-45 mins  Total Time: 45-60 mins

Ingredients

·      1 large butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed

·      1 tablespoon olive oil

·      salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

·      1 cup farro, rinsed

·      3 cups vegetable broth (I used Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base)

·      2 tablespoons olive oil

·      3 cloves garlic, minced

·      ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced

·      2-3 celery stalks, chopped finely

·      2 cups baby kale

·      ½ cup parsley, chopped

·      ¼ cup dried cranberries

·      1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

·      2 tablespoons lemon juice

·      1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

·      2 tablespoons olive oil

·      salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

·      ½ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

·      ½ cup pomegranate seeds 

Instructions

1.    Preheat oven to 425F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.    Brush each cut side of the butternut squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut-side-down on the prepared baking sheet and put in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and flip over so the cut sides are facing up. Return to oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until tender. When you can easily pierce through the skin of the squash with a fork, it’s done.

3.    While the squash is baking, bring the farro and vegetable broth to a boil, uncovered, in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until chewy and tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

4.    Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to large skillet over medium heat. Once oil shimmers, add in the garlic and onion and celery and sauté about 4-5 minutes until soft. Add in the kale and cook until kale is wilted. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped parsley, dried cranberries, maple syrup, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Once combined, add the farro and mix until fully incorporated. Set aside.

5.    Scoop out some of the roasted squash, leaving about 1 inch of squash (plus skin). You can serve the squash that you scooped out on the side mashed with salt and pepper, or you can just mix it into the farro salad if you want! Stuff the squash with the farro mixture and top with walnuts, pomegranate seeds and more parsley. Serve warm and enjoy!

 

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