While almost everyone is gearing up for the big turkey day meal at the end of the month, I’ve been over here cooking and testing recipes for the holidays since early fall. The funny thing about writing a blog is that you start each holiday and season a little bit before everyone else to have content ready, and sometimes that means cooking Thanksgiving dinner sides in September. So, as we lead up to Turkey Day I am craving something a little bit lighter than mashed potatoes and stuffing. A big salad with my favorite Little Leaf Farms greens is my go-to dinner when I’m looking for healthier options, and I love to give them a fresh twist to make use of seasonal ingredients. This squash and farro salad is my current favorite! The base of my salads always start with crispy Little Leaf Farms lettuce – because they’re grown in New England greenhouses you can get the fresh taste of locally grown lettuce even in November! (PS: I got to visit their greenhouses recently, check out my blog post for more about their amazing growing processes and sustainability efforts). Tons of the flavor in this salad comes from the sweet roasted squash. I used a combination of butternut and delicata, but any winter squash will do (honeynut squash is another favorite!). Folding in a grain like farro makes the salad really hearty for the season and filling enough to have this for dinner. A little tip for cooking the farro, follow the cooking instructions on the package but swap out water for chicken broth to give it tons of extra flavor. The salad also gets topped with crumbled goat cheese, dried cranberries (or sub-in other favorite dried fruits!), and salty roasted pepitas that add tons of texture to the bowl. For the dressing I mixed up a simple vinaigrette with grainy mustard, sweet maple syrup, and a touch of garlic. Shake it all up in a mason jar for an easy way to emulsify the oil and vinegar (and bonus: it makes the leftovers easy to store!). I toss everything together in a big bowl and dress it right before serving for dinner – it’s a combination I’ve been craving again and again lately! Get the full recipe below:
- 2 Cups of Butternut Squash, cubed
- 1 Small Delicata Squash
- 1 Cup of Farro, cooked
- ¼ Cup of Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
- ¼ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp of Grainy Mustard
- 1 Tbsp of Maple Syrup
- 1 Tsp of Garlic, minced
- Little Leaf Farms Baby Red and Green Leaf Lettuce
- 2 oz. Goat Cheese, crumbled
- 3 Tbsp of Pepitas
- 2 Tbsp of Dried Cranberries
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Slice delicata squash and remove seeds; arrange delicata with cubed butternut squash on a baking sheet, drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through. Set aside to cool slightly once cooked.
- While squash is roasting, cook farro as directed and set aside to cool slightly once finished.
- In a small jar combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, syrup, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and tightly screw on the jar top before shaking vigorously to emulsify the dressing.
- Assemble the salad by filling a large bowl with Little Leaf Farms Baby Red and Green Leaf Lettuce. Add cooked squash, farro, crumbled goat cheese, pepitas, and dried cranberries. Toss with dressing immediately before serving.
Please note: This post was created in partnership with Little Leaf Farms. All opinions, images and content are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support this site.