Warm Farro Salad with Butternut Squash and Hazelnuts

Cook, Fall, In Season, Meat-Free Mains, Recipes, Sides, Weeknight Dinner

Warm Farro Salad with Butternut Squash and HazelnutsCombining whole-grain farro with chunks of butternut squash, crunchy hazelnuts and dried cranberries, this salad is not only beautiful, it’s also packed with nutrients. Enjoy it on its own as a hearty meatless meal, or serve alongside roasted beef or pork.


Warm Farro Salad with Butternut Squash and Hazelnuts


7 cups (56 fl. oz./1.75 l) water

2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste

1 1/2 cups (9 oz./280 g) farro

1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) hazelnuts

3 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 yellow onion, finely diced

3 cups (15 oz./470 g) diced peeled butternut squash (1/2-inch/12-mm dice) (about 1 lb./500 g squash)

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves

2 Tbs. sherry vinegar

1 cup (4 oz./125 g) dried cranberries

2 cups (4 oz./125 g) thinly sliced radicchio


In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the water and the 2 tsp. salt to a boil. Add the farro, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain off and reserve the excess water.


Meanwhile, in a 5-quart (5-l) essential pan or sauté pan over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Coarsely chop the nuts.


In the same pan over medium heat, melt the butter until foaming. Add the onion and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the squash, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the vinegar and cranberries. Fold in the farro, hazelnuts and radicchio. Add more cooking water if needed. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

7 comments about “Warm Farro Salad with Butternut Squash and Hazelnuts

  1. Julie

    Are there any tips for cutting a squash properly and more importantly safely? I keep passing this job to my husband.

  2. Williams-Sonoma Post author

    Hi Julie, cut long-shaped squash in half lengthwise using a large, sharp chef’s knife, and cute round ones into thick wedges. Use a large metal spoon to scoop out the seeds and strings and discard. If the skin needs to be removed before cooking, use a sharp vegetable peeler or paring knife and peel it away carefully. Hope this helps!

  3. elizabeth

    I don’t know what Farro is. Also can I use frozen butternut squash already diced?

    1. Williams-Sonoma Post author

      Hi elizabeth, farro is an ancient grain with a chewy-tender texture and earthy flavor. It makes a wonderful addition to soups and salads. Yes, you may use frozen, diced butternut squash; just let it thaw and roast according to the instructions above.

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  5. Ellen

    This looks delicious. Can you advice on what steps you can do in advance and whether one might substitute vegetable broth instead of water in same quantities? Many thanks.

    1. Williams-Sonoma Post author

      Hi Ellen, yes, you could definitely substitute vegetable broth for the water. You may want to reduce the amount of salt called for, as some broths can be rather salty. As for working ahead, you could cook the farro, cool, cover and refrigerate overnight. You could also toast the hazelnuts a day or two ahead of time. Then, you could cook the vegetables just before serving, reheat the farro, and combine the vegetables with the hazelnuts and farro. Hope this helps, and good luck!


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