I typically shop for food every day. Not because I believe I get fresher ingredients – though I’m sure I do. Nor because I enjoy it – though I certainly do. I primarily shop every day because having a meal plan, making an ingredient list and sticking to both usually keeps me from buying stuff I don’t need. This method, however, is not without its flaws. I still find myself reaching for ingredients that are not necessarily on my list or in my plan. This is called impulse shopping and it can lead to too many packages of gummi bears squirreled away shamefully in the pantry.
However, not all impulse buys involve processed sugar. Sometimes I ignore the devil on my right shoulder and embrace the angel on my left shoulder. These are the impulse buys that are supposed to make other shoppers look in my cart and envy my healthy lifestyle. Though I’ll admit sometimes I arrive home with a basketful of healthful ingredients that don’t seem to meld into something I can put together for dinner.
Recently – despite my rather charming, old-fashioned habit of scribbling out a list – I returned from the market with an interesting trio of impulse buys: Pomegranate juice (antioxidants), spaghetti squash (a fun way to eat more veggies), and farro (as whole as whole grains get). Now what?
Farro Salad with Spaghetti Squash
Well, my answer to this interesting trio of impulse buys is farro salad. I’ll admit I considered farro soup, but farro-squash soup in pomegranate broth is a little outside of my creative capabilities. So you’ll just have to settle for salad. Farro Salad with Spaghetti Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette. A trio of impulse buys that transition nicely from the shopping cart to the salad bowl. GREG
For a hot side dish alternative, omit the vinaigrette and replace with a pat of butter.
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ shallot (peeled and minced)
- 2 clove garlic (peeled and minced)
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juicw (about 1 lemon)
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (as needed for seasoning)
- 1 spaghetti squash about 3 pounds, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
- 2 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 cup farro
- ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (about 2 ounces)
- 1 head baby roamine lettuce (optional)
To prepare the vinaigrette: Pour the pomegranate juice into a small pot and place over medium-low heat. Add the honey and cook until the juice has reduced to ¼ cup and is thick and syrupy, roughly 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a small mixing bowl or mason jar, combine the cooled pomegranate syrup, shallot, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, and oil; season lightly with salt and pepper. Whisk or shake to blend and dissolve the salt; reserve at room temperature until needed. Keep any leftover vinaigrette covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To prepare the squash: Preheat the oven to 375°. Drizzle the flesh of the squash halves with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them, cut sides down, on a baking pan and roast until fork-tender, about 1 hour. Scrape squash with a fork to remove flesh in long strands. Put in a large mixing bowl.
To prepare the farro: Meanwhile bring a 2‑quart pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farro, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover. Simmer until the farro is tender and the grains have split open, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water. Add the farro to the bowl of spaghetti squash. Add the parsley and dried cranberries. Drizzle with the vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Serve with baby romaine leaves (if using). Crumble the feta on top before serving.
“Though I’ll admit sometimes I arrive home with a basketful of healthful ingredients that don’t seem to meld into something I can put together for dinner.” I might have written that sentence myself, Greg! Well, you certainly pulled them together in this beautiful salad.
I never quite know what to do with spaghetti squash as I don’t at all enjoy it with pasta sauce. Your recipe looks very interesting; something I’d be inclined to try.
I just discovered Farro a couple of years ago , your recipe looks just right for me!
We don’t shop every single day, but most days. Mainly because we like to walk, and the supermarket is a bit less than 2 miles from our house. So that’s a fun destination and good distance for a nice round trip. Plus we have to carry whatever we buy, so impulse shopping is greatly restrained! Anyway, this salad looks terrific — tons of flavor and texture. Soup is an interesting idea — you’ll have to work on that. 🙂 Good stuff — thanks.
I am the same way — I shop every day and love it. However, I didn’t know I had an angel on one shoulder — only the devil on the other. I will make sure I look both ways when shopping now. The salad sounds really interesting — love the pomegranate vinaigrette!
I love impulse buys — I know I should be sticking to my list but you never know what will pop up and surprise you at the market. It’s a great way to mix things up a bit. And this is my kind of salad — I could eat it every day for lunch.
What a beautiful salad, I love the healthy bite of farro and the earthy flavour of spaghetti squash, the pomegranate dressing sounds delicious too and I can just imagine how well it all came together. I am bookmarking this beauty for lazy days at the cottage this summer (I’m always looking out for easy recipes that won’t heat up the kitchen too much — I’ll probably grill the spaghetti squash)
This is a dish you have me suddenly craving! I first cooked with farro last year and fell in love! Thanks for sharing!
Interesting and creative. I’m one of those who buys farro, freekah, etc. and then stores in a mason jar in pantry, never makes because I forget to label and have no idea what to do with it. I DO shop every single day for food, (grocery store is inside our subdivision) the one food benefit of life in the burbs. I know everyone on first name basis. They know me without makeup!
Call me lazy, but wouldn’t pomegranate molasses in the vinagerette be easier? I do love your amazing great taste in food combining, whether it is your own creation or someone else’s. Thank you for helping me think outside of the box when it comes to cooking.