Farro Salad with Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts and Leeks | www.floatingkitchen.net

Farro Salad with Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts and Leeks

This post was originally published here on September 26, 2014. I’ve updated the images and text, because let’s be honest, it was pretty bad before.

It’s almost time for Halloween! Are you excited? Terrified? Somewhere in between?

Me? I’m a big chicken when it comes to all the scary stuff. In fact, I’m still thinking about some awful horror movie that I was forced to watch last Halloween. I kid you not. So in general, it’s best if I just avoid all that creepy stuff. Also, I really don’t like dressing up in costumes. So I think it’s safe to say that the only thing I fully embrace on Halloween is the free candy.

{Insert brilliant segue}

Farro Salad with Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts and Leeks | www.floatingkitchen.net

By this time of year, I’ve usually fallen deep into my love affair with roasted butternut squash. I love it as a side dish, mixed in with green salads and I’ve even been know to enjoy it for breakfast. It’s all squash, all the time.

So because I consume so much butternut squash, I’ve been trying to come up with new partners for it to play with in hearty, “main meal” type of salads. And that has motivated me to start using farro as a ingredient in my kitchen. It’s kind of a new grain for me (I’ve been stuck in a quinoa rut for some time), and I’m happy to be exploring it more now. It’s got a really satisfying, chewy texture. And a subtle nutty flavor that makes it perfect for cozy Fall dishes.

Farro Salad with Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts and Leeks | www.floatingkitchen.net

Farro cooks up similarly to rice or quinoa, requiring just a few extra minutes on the stovetop. But be sure to buy pearled farro and not whole farro, or else you’ll have to perform an overnight soak and you’ll need a longer cooking time as well.

I’ve also been getting into raw brussels sprouts lately. Their flavor is pretty mild when raw. But if that’s not your thing, you could certainly roast them up with the butternut squash and leeks.



Farro Salad with Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts and Leeks

Serves about 6

Farro Salad with Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts and Leeks


  • For the Salad
  • 4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 leek, bottom white portion thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 cup pearled farro
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups brussels spouts, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 6 tablespoons hazelnuts, roughly chopped

  • For the Dressing
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Toss the butternut squash, sliced leeks, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and allspice together in a large bowl. Then spread everything out on a large rimmed baking sheet and transfer the baking sheet to your pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring once halfway through the cooking time. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. While the squash is roasting, bring the farro and the water to a boil in a heavy bottom saucepan. Then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, covered, about 25-30 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside to cool slightly. Note: if you have whole farro instead of pearled farro, this will require an overnight soak and a longer cooking time. Follow the package instructions.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing until smooth, using 1 or 2 tablespoons of water to thin it to your desired consistency.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the roasted vegetables, cooked farro, sliced brussels sprouts, cilantro and dressing, starting with about half of the dressing and adding more to suit your taste preferences, until everything is well coated.
  5. Transfer the salad to serving plates and top with some of the chopped hazelnuts. Serve immediately.
  6. The salad can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 1-2 days. Leftovers can be eaten cold or re-warmed slightly.

32 comments on “Farro Salad with Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts and Leeks”

  1. This is wonderful for lunch or for a light dinner. Healthy and nutritious!

  2. Love this main dish meal! The tahini dressing and butternut squash sound amazing! Thanks for sharing

  3. I don’t like all the creepy shows/previews on tv right now either. I used to love horror movies when I was younger, and now I can’t stand ’em! This farro salad would definitely be a great fall meal or side — I love all of the ingredients! 🙂

  4. Love this – the colours, flavours and all the goodness! I don’t watch scary shows either. I can’t handle it 😉

  5. yes! we grow so many different kinds of squash on our farm, and I’m always looking for new squash recipes to try. this looks divine!

    • Thanks, Kelsey! Butternut squash is one of the most plentiful vegetables that my family grows on their farm as well. So it’s near and dear to my heart!

  6. This salad looks amazing, Liz! Love the flavours!

  7. Oh Liz, I’m so with you. I HATE scary movies, scary anything. I don’t watch much TV (We’re movie people) so I’m glad I don’t have to deal with awful commercials, that would drive me crazy. Guess you’ll just have to cozy up with this salad! It looks awesome!

  8. I haven’t tried farro before, but it sounds delicious! This looks like a great recipe to try it with, I already know I love roasted butternut squash, brussels sprouts, and creamy dressing 🙂

  9. This looks GORGEOUS, I love the colors. And I’ve got to try farro, I have a package in the cupboard but I haven’t been able to decide what to do with it, this will be perfect!

  10. YES! I know exactly how you feel about horror movie commercials! Sometimes, I would be watching TV while I’m having my dinner, and then BAM. Horror movie in my face, and I lose my appetite. Why do they do this to us? This salad definitely brings happy thoughts in my head! Love the colors!

    • Thanks, Lisa. I always wonder about the people who make their living out of creating horror films. I guess they become numb to it. But seems like a horrible profession. I’ll stick to cooking and eating!

  11. What a beautiful and colorful salad – I love it! I can see how it would be a ‘main meal’ salad. I could definitely leave the table feeling satisfied with this little number! And, I’m with you. I don’t watch any of those horror movies – regardless of the season! I say, always think happy thoughts! 🙂

  12. I’m the same way! I can’t watch any scary movies or I will have nightmares for months! I work hard to avoid all scary movies so it always makes me so mad when they slip a scary commercial in, they should have warnings! I just made some butternut squash and brussels sprout tacos and I’ve been on a kick ever since! I’m so glad I have another excuse to eat those two flavors together 🙂

  13. When I saw your blog name, I couldn’t resist reading your “About” – at first I thought “maybe she lives in Vietnam”? But NO, Seattle! One of the places in the US I haven’t been to but am dying to see! (I’m in Aussie). I don’t have any faro recipes so this is a great one to add to my collection! Thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks, Nagi! Yeah there aren’t too many places in the world where you can live on a floating home. Thanks for stopping by and let me know how yo like the salad!

  14. OH my gosh…this salad has all of my favorites! I love farro (so much my husband tells me to stop talking about it). Farro on a restaurant menu is an automatic order for me! Love it. Pinning for dinner.

  15. WoW! Liz! There’s so much I love about this post.. your update yes! Your photography is just gorgeous and it makes the ingredients in this recipe pop!! Butternut is a favorite of mine too.. but I’ve not even touched it this year with all the kabocha and pumpkins coming in! I’ve gotta get my hands on one. I love the tahini dressing.. SO good! I’m with ya on Halloween. It’s not my thing at all. So can we just stay inside, sip cocktails and eat this? MmmmmK?!

    • Aww…thanks, Traci! The old photos were pretty scary! Glad I’ve gotten better over the years! Lol. I’m not using much kabocha this year. I need to get on that!

  16. I have a similar fall obsession with butternut squash. The nutty farro and brussels sprouts are perfect partners. Great vegetarian meal (to counter my Halloween candy intake!).

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