Roasted squash, crunchy pepitas, salty feta, and tart pickled red onions. This salad has it all, and can be served warm or cold. Make a big batch it keeps so well.
1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
5 to 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup cooked barley
1 cup chopped fresh kale, massaged well until it is bright green
1/3 cup toasted salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
3 ounces feta cheese
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
preheat oven to 375
Peel squash and cut into bite size pieces. Toss with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and lots of freshly ground pepper, and roast until tender, about 30-40 minutes.
To cook barley put 1/2 cup dry barley into saucepan with 2 cups water (or chicken stock for extra flavour). Boil for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to sit for 1 hour. Drain well. You can easily do this a day ahead.
Dice red onion finely, and set aside in small bowl or jar. Combine the sherry vinegar, water, salt and sugar and stir until well dissolved. Pour over onions and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes. You can also do this ahead of time, in fact I often have a jar of these in my fridge as they are amazing on salads, sandwiches and of course tacos!
The pumpkin seeds I have on hand all the time aren’t salted, so I toasted them in a little bit of olive oil, with a sprinkle of fresh sea salt. They were so delicious I kept nibbling at them, good thing I ended up with enough for the salad.
When squash is ready, toss in a large bowl with all the other ingredients and about 3 tbsp olive oil.
Credit for this amazing salad goes to Smitten Kitchen, Deb used faro and I used barley but you can use any grain you like. The kale was my idea too, had some in the fridge and thought it would add a nice pop of colour and texture, it did!