Kale, Delicata Salad with Farro and Parmesan

Featured in A Friendsgiving Picnic by Melissa Fairchild Clark

Photo by Natalie and Cody Gantz

Photo by Natalie and Cody Gantz

Serves 12

1 cup farro
3 delicata squash
1–2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1¾ teaspoons sea salt (divided)
5 teaspoons maple syrup
7 teaspoons sherry vinegar
3 turns fresh-cracked black pepper
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup shredded Parmesan

In a small pot, boil the farro in 2½ cups water until al dente, about 15 minutes. While the farro cooks, preheat the oven to 400°.

Peel the squash, slice the ends off, halve it, scoop out the seeds, and slice the halves into ⅓-inch-thick half moons. Toss the squash slices in just enough vegetable oil to coat, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, then spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, turning the slices with a spatula about halfway through cooking so they brown evenly.

Strain any remaining cooking water off the farro and allow the grain to cool to room temperature. While the delicata cooks, prep the kale by stripping away the spines, stacking several leaves, and slicing them into thin strips (about ½ inch).

Once the delicata is roasted and cooled, make the dressing by placing ⅔ cup of the roasted squash in a blender or food processor along with ¾ teaspoon salt, maple syrup, sherry vinegar, and black pepper. Process until smooth, and then with the machine still running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Pour the dressing into a half-pint jar.

Shortly before serving the salad, combine the kale, farro, and Parmesan in a large salad bowl. Add as much of the dressing as seems right and massage it into the kale to fully coat each leaf. Finally, toss in the reserved roasted delicata and serve.