Italian Farro Salad with Kale & Butternut Squash
January 23, 2018
By Elizabeth Palmer Califano

Packed with fiber and protein, nutty and delicious farro makes an excellent swap for pasta or rice in this hearty Italian dish. Butternut squash provides vitamins C and A, and kale supplies vitamin K and folate, rounding out this dish as a super healthy recipe to add to your repertoire. Balsamic vinegar, which provides acidity and flavor in this salad, also boosts your immune system, and offers antioxidants and polyphenols which can protect your body from heart disease and cancer. Feel free to vary the ingredients in this recipe, and add grilled chicken or fish for a well-rounded meal.

Serves 4-6

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 ½ cups raw farro, cooked per package instructions
  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash (1/4 inch cubes ideally)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios
  • 4 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1 small bunch kale, finely minced
  • 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Grated parmesan cheese, to taste
  • Microgreens to garnish, optional


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss the butternut squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer, and roast for 25-35 minutes until tender.
  2. While the squash roasts, toast the pistachios and sunflower seeds. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat, and toss the nuts and seeds around for 2-3 minutes, until warm and fragrant.
  3. Massage the kale with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt until soft and wilted.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the farro, cooked squash, toasted pistachios and sunflower seeds, kale, cranberries, balsamic, and remaining olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with parmesan cheese and microgreens if desired, and enjoy!

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About the Author

Elizabeth Palmer Califano
Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website: