Unlike most of you, I wait until the end of January to make my new year’s resolutions. After the whirlwind of the holidays it takes me a good month to just get back into my old bad habits routine. Trying to add in some brand new behaviors is setting myself up to fail.

So I take January to do some mental and physical housekeeping. I organize my files. I get back into a regular exercise routine. You get the picture. And then toward the end of the month I make my list of “to-do’s” (or “don’ts”) for the coming year.

Number one on this year’s list?

Keep it simple.

If there is a way to take a basic task and make it more time-consuming and complicated, sign me up. And as I find that life keeps getting busier and my free time is growing ever more compromised – well, it’s time to do something about that.

Starting with mealtime. Today’s recipe is a healthy, delicious and VERY giving side dish/main dish/lunch. Remember the class I took a while back at Good Life Gourmet? One of the best take-aways of that night was the importance and value of incorporating more whole grains into my diet. I was surprised at how delicious and versatile they could be.

If you’re new to cooking with whole grains (as I was), this is a great dish to start with. I love this farro salad and so does my family. It is a perfect complement to a simple chicken dinner and makes for a fabulous and filling lunch over the next few days. Even better, it is infinitely adaptable. You can swap the walnuts for pecans, the cranberries for currants, the feta for goat cheese. And, it gets even better over time as the flavors continue to develop (how many dishes can you say that for??).

Happy New Year!

Farro Salad with Butternut Squash
adapted from Answers en Croute

1 small butternut squash (about 2 lbs)
1 shallot, sliced thin
3 T. olive oil,  divided
1 c pearled farro (if using unpearled, soak the farro overnight before cooking)
1 1/2 T. balsamic vinegar
juice and zest of one large lemon
chopped parsley, to taste
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 c. walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
chopped feta (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel the squash, cut it into cubes and toss with the sliced shallot, 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt to taste. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.

While the squash is roasting, prepare the farro: in a large saucepan, cover the farro with 5 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes (adding more water if needed). Add 1 t. salt and continue to cook until tender, about ten minutes longer.

When the farro has finished cooking, drain any remaining water and combine with the squash, parsley, shallots, 2 T. olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and zest, cranberries and walnuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow the flavors to develop for a few hours (or overnight) and serve warm or at room temperature, passing feta separately.

(print this recipe)

This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver


  1. meri on January 30, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    sheri, this looks amazing! can’t wait to try, i love farro. I just made your chocolate cookies today. yums

    • sheri silver on January 30, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      This is a very Meredith dish. 🙂

  2. Hotly Spiced on January 30, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    That does look like a delicious salad. I haven’t heard of farro but from the pictures it looks a lot like barley. Is it like barley?

    • sheri silver on January 30, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      They are actually very similar and can be used interchangeably! I hope you try it; let me know if you do! And thanks for writing!! 🙂

  3. Zoe Denahy on January 30, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Sheri I am so making this. Looks yummy and Farro is my new favorite food item. Purchased Organic Farro at the farmers market.

    • sheri silver on January 31, 2012 at 8:15 am

      You will love it – let me know how it turns out!

  4. Tracy @ Sugar Loco on January 30, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    I am the SAME way…I don’t rush to make skimpy resolutions that I’m just going to break anyways. I take time to think about it, and this year is my FAVORITE resolution ever. I’m doing something for myself every month of 2012…it could be big or little, expensive or free, you get the picture. So in January, I went shopping, got fitted, and bought all new bras. I had been putting it off for way too long. Still thinking about what it will be in February…

    • sheri silver on January 31, 2012 at 8:16 am

      Okay I am totally stealing this resolution – I love it! What a great idea and something to look forward to each month! And I love that it doesn’t necessarily have to be big and costly; sometimes the little “treats” are the best!