This healthy fall inspired Roasted Butternut Squash Barley Salad shows that greens are not always necessary to make a healthy salad that is delicious, seasonal and filling.
My standard philosophy in making salads in trying to create a combination of colors, textures and flavors and I always try to let the ingredients dominate rather than the dressing. The dressing is in the background, enhancing the flavors of the ingredients. It may add some color but should not be dominant in my view.
- Pearl barley. Any type of grain will do here, like farro, quinoa, rice, couscous. Cook according to direction on packaging. A chewy, nutty ingredient, full of fiber.
- Apple. Pick a sweet crispy type. Cut in small pieces, keep skin on. Sweet crunchy ingredient.
- White beans. Cannellini beans or great Northern Beans or any other type. Cook in a little bit of oil with garlic. Mild flavored, pale colored ingredients, containing vegetable protein, fiber and minerals.
- Butternut Squash: Pumpkin or sweet potato will do as well. Cut into small pieces and roast in the oven. Ingredient with vibrant color, high in magnesium, sweet flavor especially after roasting.
- Celery: Chop in small pieces. Highly crunchy ingredient with a lot of fiber.
- Walnuts: Pecan, pine nuts, pistachios or almonds. All will do well.
Roasted Butternut Squash Barley Salad
- 1/2 butternut squash cubed
- 1/2 cup pearl barley
- 1 apple skin on, chopped
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 1/4 cup walnuts chopped
- 1 can cannellini beans 15.5 ounces, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- parsley finely chopped
- salt & pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- salt & pepper
- Roast the butternut squash in a 400 degrees F oven for 30-35 minutes and allow to cool.
- Cook the pearl barley according to the directions on the packaging and allow to cool.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet, add the garlic and cook until translucent. Add the white beans and cook for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool. (Note 1)
- Transfer all chopped and cooled ingredients into a bowl.
- Make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients.
- Add the dressing to the salad ingredients and mix again.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle with parsley and plate.
- Instead of a clove of garlic you can use garlic paste. The tube will show how much to use.