In an effort to opt for healthier choices in our daily diet, it can often be a challenge to find dishes that don’t make you feel as if you’re missing out. This salad is about to change all of that.
Because this salad is not only full of healthy ingredients, it is super delicious and satisfying, too. That’s because it employs several culinary tactics that are guaranteed to result in a good-for-you dish that you will actually enjoy.
To start, swap out one-note white rice or pasta for a hearty grain, such as farro. Not only is farro delicious, with a nutty flavor and chewy texture, it’s also chock full of fiber, protein and antioxidants. Other great choices are quinoa, barley or spelt.
Next, roast your veggies. Roasting veggies, such as this butternut squash, heightens their flavor immensely, caramelizing them and bringing out their natural sweetness. Feel free to use sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts or any vegetable you like!
Finally? Be inventive with mix-ins. Nuts, dried fruits and fresh herbs add lots of color, flavor and texture, taking any side dish to center stage for your Meatless Monday (and beyond).
Add in some crumbled feta or goat cheese if you like, along with any protein you happen to have on hand. This dish gets better over time, and is as delicious at room temperature (or even cold the next day) as it is right off the stove.
Did you think it was possible to actually crave a salad?
Meal side dish
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded and cut into cubes
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 cup farro
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- juice of one lemon
- chopped mint, to taste
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1 cup shelled pistachios
- salt and pepper
- Photos by Sheri Silver
- 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss squash and shallot with 1 tablespoon olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper, and bake for 30-40 minutes, till squash is easily pierced with a knife but still firm. Remove from oven and set aside.
- 2. Cook farro according to package instructions. Drain any excess water and transfer to a large bowl. Add the squash and shallots, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mint, cherries and pistachios, and toss gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Bright Winter Salads
In a season filled with indulgent foods, celebration meals and dozens of different ways to treat yourself at the table, there are some evenings when a beautiful salad is in order. So here are 10 salads perfect for the middle of winter, with something for every taste and budget.
Apricot-Almond Hand Pies