An October icon, pumpkins were among the first crop grown for human consumption - predating beans and corn
It's no surprise really: this mighty winter squash is overflowing with vitamins A, C and E, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, potassium and fiber. They're versatile too. Pumpkins can be grilled, steamed, puréed, baked, broiled or roasted (don't forget the seeds)! But remember, not all pumpkins are the same. The smaller to medium varieties tend to have better flesh for baking. Leave the big ones for decoration.
This Roasted Pumpkin and Farro Salad is simple, elegant and bursting with flavor. Jef used a Small Sugar variety but feel free to substitute with your favorite homegrown squash. Our favorites: Casper, Winter Luxury and Tetsukabuto.
Roasted Pumpkin and Farro Salad
with Bleu Cheese and Maple Vinaigrette
For the farro:
1 cup Farro
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 cups Water
1½ tsp Salt
For the vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons Sherry Vinegar (Champagne or Apple Cider Vinegar will work too)
1/3 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1tsp SaltFresh cracked Black Pepper to taste
For the assembly:
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Several slices of Roasted Pumpkin (see below)
Bleu Cheese, crumbled or whole - pro tip: try freezing a large chunk and grating it with a microplane
Chopped Parsley and/or Chives
In a small pot with a lid, add the oil and farro and place over medium heat.
Stir regularly to toast the farro.
Once the farro starts turning golden brown and becomes fragrant add the water and salt, reduce heat to low and cover.
Cook for about 20-30 minutes, checking it after 20.
The farro is done when all the water is absorbed.
Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Farro has a larger window of ‘done’ than rice does. It will retain an ‘al dente’ type bite to it and it is much harder to overcook. Taste and add salt as needed.
To roast the pumpkin:
Preheat the oven to 350º.
With a large sharp knife, carefully cut the pumpkin in half.
Remove the seeds and stringiest parts of the flesh.
Rub the inside of the pumpkin with a neutral flavored oil like vegetable oil or canola oil.
Place face down on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Roast for 15-30 minutes (depending on the size of your pumpkin) until still firm but not hard when you insert a knife.
There should be no resistance but it shouldn’t be mushy.
Remove from the oven and let cool.
Once cooled to room temperature, slice into ½ “ slices and remove the skin with a knife.
For the dressing:
Combine all ingredients in a mason jar or other container with a tight fitting lid and shake it like a polaroid picture.
Slice the cooled roasted pumpkin into ½ inch thick slices.
Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium to high heat.
Gently add the pumpkin slices and sear until golden brown.This step is just to caramelize - the pumpkin is already cooked through from the roasting.You don’t even have to flip these.
Once nicely browned, turn off the heat and remove from the pan to rest.
Cool to room temperature before plating.
Place the farro down on the plate, then top with the pumpkin slices. If using crumbled bleu cheese, spread it over the top. If using whole, remove from the freezer and grate over the pumpkin with a Microplane. Using a spoon, top the pumpkin salad with a light amount of dressing and drizzle some around the plate for added visual flair. Top the salad with the chopped herbs and enjoy! Take pictures first - this one looks beautiful when fully assembled.
Pinetree Garden Seeds is not responsible for any outcome, unless they're good, then we take all the credit. 😊