Apron guru Ellen Bennett’s grain salad is a meal unto itself, combining winter squash, parsnips and wheat berries with kale, pomegranate seeds and feta cheese. It’s a festive crowd-pleaser.
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3 cups wheat berries
One 2-pound kabocha squash—halved, seeded, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
One 1 1/2-pound acorn squash—scrubbed, halved, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
12 ounces parsnips (2 large), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
8 ounces Tuscan kale, thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup dried sour cherries
1 persimmon, halved and thinly sliced (optional)
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup lightly packed mint leaves
How to Make It
In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the wheat berries until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain well, then spread on a baking sheet to cool completely.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°. In a large bowl, toss the kabocha, acorn squash and parsnips with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on 2 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for about 25 minutes, until tender but not falling apart. Let cool completely.
In a large bowl, whisk the shallot with the lemon juice, vinegar and the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wheat berries, squash, parsnips, kale, pomegranate seeds, cherries and persimmon (if using) and toss well. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Scatter the feta and mint on top. Serve.
The salad can be made up to 2 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. Add the feta and mint just before serving.
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