Wild Rice and Farro Salad with Pan Roasted Squash and Arugula
Today’s MoFo theme is about featuring an unconventional grain. Farro has to be one of our favourites. It’s the Italian name for the Emmer variety of wheat, which is botanically related to both Spelt and Einkorn (also sometimes referred to as farro, just to be confusing). It is chewy and nutty, especially when toasted in a little oil prior to cooking. Cooking it is pretty simple, 1 part Farro, 2 parts water. It comes in two varieties, pearled and unpearled, the later meaning that the grain is fully intact. Pearled is most commonly available and takes about 25 minutes to cook, unpearled takes twice that long.
We wanted to pair this with wild rice, which isn’t a grain at all, but rather a grass. Squash is a natural match to all of these flavours, so we found a tiny pie pumpkin and pan roasted it in a little homemade vegan butter. All of it comes together with a whole grain mustard vinaigrette and some peppery arugula. Arugula not your thing? Baby spinach would be great too, just slice it up first before adding it to the salad.
Join our email list and get a free copy of our newest eCookbook, “Quick and Easy Weekday Meals”
- 1 cup wild rice
- 2 ½ cups water
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup faro
- 2 cups water
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ½ cups 1 cm dice squash, we used a small pie pumpkin. Butternut squash would also be great.
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter, preferably homemade. If not available, use olive oil instead
- 2 ½ oz baby arugula, that’s half a small pack
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the wild rice, water and salt in a small pot with a lid. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed and the wild rice is tender, about 45-50 minutes.
- Heat the olive oil in a small sauce pot. Toast the farro for 2-3 minutes until it smells nutty. Add the water and salt and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed, 25 minutes for pearled farro, up to 50 minutes for unpearled farro.
- Heat the vegan butter in a sauté pan large enough to accommodate the squash in a single layer over medium heat. If you don’t have a pan that big, cook the squash in two batches.
- Add the squash to the pan and leave it to brown before moving it. Season with salt and pepper and toss well. Allow it to sear some more. It should be cooked in about 5-7 minutes.
- Whisk together the vinegar, mustards and a little kosher salt.
- While whisking vigorously, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
- Combine to wild rice, farro and squash in a mixing bowl. Stir in the dressing. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed
- Just before serving, mix in the arugula.