My love for salads started in high school.
I felt safe enough to ask for something more and my more was an all girl school in Farmington, Connecticut with the best salad bar E.V.E.R.
Food is extraordinarily powerful as it captivates all of the senses often times while with others. Memories are precious and the gift of nostalgia is an experience that food offers over and over. Food allows me to time travel, be placed at a particular table with specific souls as if time doesn’t exist.
During the Covid pandemic, I don’t find it at all coincidental that people have suffered from a loss of smell/taste. It’s as if the collective message is to slow down to create new memories through food by not rushing through a meal rather cherishing all of the senses engaged while eating. When we take in the aroma, textures and bounty, we are nourishing our bodies and minds with sensorial memories only time will unveil.
There are no limitations with salads and endless layering options.
Delicata squash is a Fall staple in our kitchen. What I love most is that you can eat the skin!
Farro is an ancient grain. Many folks that suffer from Celiac are not bothered by Farro as it’s in its true form: the germ/bran have not been stripped of it’s inherent nutritional composition.
And Pomegranates are chalk full of antioxidants to keep our immunities strong.
My mom, Coach Cathy has a platform called ‘Potentiality’ She’s a graduate of IIN and combines her own love of food with really practical tips to incorporate nutrients into your day to day. Coach Cathy’s layer in technique includes the ‘Sprinkle & Spread’ and the ‘Splash’ which are both perfect for building salads!
Farro Salad with Squash, Apples, Pecans and Pomegranates
1 cup cooked Farro
1/2 cup Banyuls Vinaigrette
1 teaspoon Thyme, fresh
1/2 cup Pecans, toasted and chopped
Maldon or Himalayan Sea Salt (for the most minerals/nutrients)
1 Delicata Squash, roasted 1 Apple (crisp), diced
1 tablespoon Ras al Hanout
1 Pomegranate seeds (see tips below for extracting seeds)
1/2 cup Arugula
Yield 1 cup
*Banyuls is a fantastic vinegar aged for 4 years in French Oak Barrels.
3T Banyuls (Apple Cider Vinegar also will work)
3/4 olive oil
1t fresh thyme, chopped
Salt to taste
Whisk to combine honey with Banyuls and then slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking into the Banyuls and honey. Season with salt and fresh chopped thyme.
Carefully scoop the seeds from the Delicata and roast on a foil lined sheet pan with either olive oil, ghee or coconut oil for 25 minutes at 350-375 degrees. *Add diced apple for final 5 minutes of cooking. Season both squash and apple with salt and Ras al Hanout once fully cooked.
Drizzle pecans lightly with olive oil and salt and toast for 7 minutes at 350 degrees.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Add the Farro and cook until tender, similar to pasta for approximately 12 minutes. Strain and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Once cool, toss with half of Banyuls vinaigrette. *Farro does increase in volume once cooked. Start with 3/4c dry farro to yield 1c cooked.
Cleaning pomegranates can be intimidating.
The best method I have found is slicing the pomegranate horizontally, right through the middle so that the top and bottom stay the top and bottom. Using the back of a spoon, tap the skin side of the pomegranate over a bowl and the seeds will fall out!
Let’s put it all together:
Toss farro with fresh arugula and add a drizzle of vinaigrette. Layer with seasoned Delicata squash and apples, toasted pecans and pomegranate seeds.
Staying nourished is a sound path to health and with health anything is possible.