Roasted butternut squash is tossed with chewy spelt, creamy goat cheese and toasted almonds to create this healthy and satisfying salad.
Friends – I am so excited to tell you about this incredible salad. Back in December, my good friend Kristen and I were chit chatting about what we planned to make for Christmas. While I always make my Great Aunt Vieve’s famous hummus platter with toasted pine nuts, I signed up to bring a side dish as well which was the perfect opportunity to try a new recipe.
Within days (hours?) Kristen told me about this Roasted Squash with Farro and Almonds Recipe from Southern Living which immediately got my wheels spinning. I decided to give it a Middle Eastern spin by using fresh lemon juice and zest, scallions, parsley and olive oil. In fact, the dressing is almost identical to what you would find in Tabbouleh Salad or a Syrian Potato Salad.
For added richness, I used butternut squash and creamy goat cheese. When you start to toss the salad, the goat cheese actually starts to melt a bit creating an incredibly luxurious vinaigrette. Any grain would work for this dish. To make it gluten free, use quinoa. I actually had two open bags of spelt and barley so I decided to use a combination of the two. Farro, bulgur wheat or wheat berries would all work well in this dish. Use whatever you have on hand!
Your fork is waiting.
- 4 cups butternut squash - peeled and cubed
- ¼ cup olive oil - divided
- 1 teaspoon salt - divided
- ½ teaspoon pepper - divided
- 1 cup uncooked spelt - prepared according to package instructions (or quinoa, farro, barley, etc.)
- juice and zest of one lemon
- 1 cup scallions - thinly sliced
- ½ cup parsley - roughly chopped
- ¼ cup sliced almonds - toasted
- 4 ounces goat cheese - crumbled
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.
- Spread almond slices on baking sheet and toast in oven for 6-7 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
- While almonds are toasting, toss butternut squash cubes to coat with half of the olive oil (2 tablespoons), half of the salt (1/2 teaspoon) and half of the pepper (1/4 teaspoon). Spread out on the same foil-lined baking sheet you used to toast the almonds and roast for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender.
- In a large bowl, toss cooked spelt with roasted butternut squash, scallions, parsley, toasted almonds and goat cheese.
- Toss with lemon juice and zest plus the remaining olive oil (2 tablespoons), salt (1/2 teaspoon) and pepper (1/4 teaspoon).
- Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Serve warm, room temperature or cold.