Feeling stressed? Eat this salad. No seriously: Farro has a high magnesium content, which can help relieve tension. It’s also really high in fiber. Butternut squash is often found pre-cut in supermarket produce sections, and starts popping up at farm stands toward the end of the summer. This recipe is also delicious in the fall using pumpkin or other autumn squash varieties.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cook the farro according to the package instructions and let cool.
Put the raisins in a shallow bowl and pour the vinegar over them. Soak, tossing them every now and then, for at least 15 minutes. Drain the vinegar into another small bowl, squeezing the raisins to remove any excess.
Meanwhile, put the squash and shallots on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil over them. Toss well with your hands to coat. Season with salt and pepper and roast, tossing halfway through, until the squash is soft and the shallots are beginning to brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Whisk the mustard into the reserved vinegar. While whisking, add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a slow stream until thick and emulsified. Season the dressing with the cayenne and salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble the salad, in a medium bowl, toss the farro, squash and shallots, raisins, cheese, and walnuts together until combined. Pour the dressing over the salad, season with salt and pepper, and toss until evenly coated with dressing. Just before serving, fold in the arugula and finish with a final drizzle of olive oil and a final crack of black pepper.
Did you know winter squash is harvested in late summer but gets its name because it lasts through winter?