Rainbow Grain Salad

Winter Rainbow Grain Salad


​Colorful, versatile, and good for you.  Here’s a grain salad that stands alone as a hearty main course and travels well for picnics and lunches to go.  Add poached salmon or grilled meat for an easy make-it-ahead dinner.  If you prefer gluten-free, substitute brown rice for the farro.

Winter Rainbow Grain Salad
Makes 6 servings
1 bunch Lacinato kale, stemmed and sliced into ¼” ribbons
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cups butternut squash, chopped in ½” cubes
1 small head cauliflower or broccoli, cut into florets
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups farro
1 bay leaf
red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
½ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup toasted pine nuts or shelled pistachios, optional

Toss the kale with the lemon juice and massage the leaves for about 1 minute.  Set aside.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  On a large sheet pan, toss the cauliflower or broccoli with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Roast for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces.  On a second sheet pan, toss the butternut squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned.  Set aside the roasted vegetables.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the farro, 1 teaspoon salt, bay leaf, and a pinch of red pepper flakes with 4 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes or until the farro is tender.  Drain, discard the bay leaf, and toss the farro with the dressing.
To make the dressing, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan over medium low heat, add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Off the heat, add 2 more tablespoons olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.  Whisk together and stir into the farro.  In the same pan, heat 1 more tablespoon olive oil and sauté the brussels sprouts for 5 minutes or beginning to brown at the edges.
In a large bowl combine the farro, roasted vegetables, and brussels sprouts.  Fold in the kale.  Top with the pomegranate seeds and nuts, if using.  Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.