Winter Rainbow Salad

We often think of summer as prime salad season, but inspiration can be found in the produce aisle during winter as well. Case in point: this Winter Rainbow Grain Salad recipe, which is both beautiful and packed with health benefits and comes to us courtesy of Terri Maultsby, health and wellness coach at Greensboro, North Carolina-based Think, Eat, Grow. “Colorful, versatile, and good for you, this grain salad stands alone as a hearty main course and travels well for picnics and lunches to go,” says Maultsby, who educates people about the brain-body connection. The salad can be adapted for an evening meal as well, she notes. “Add poached salmon or grilled meat for an easy, make-it-ahead dinner.”

Winter Rainbow Grain Salad

Yields 6 servings


  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale, stemmed and sliced into quarter-inch ribbons
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cups butternut squash, chopped in half-inch cubes
  • 1 small head cauliflower or broccoli, cut into florets
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups farro
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds or berries, such as raspberries or blackberries
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts or shelled pistachios (optional)


Toss the kale with the lemon juice and massage the leaves for about 1 minute. Set aside.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. On a large sheet pan, toss the cauliflower or broccoli with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces. On a second sheet pan, toss the butternut squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Set the roasted vegetables aside.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the farro, 1 teaspoon salt, bay leaf, and a pinch of red pepper flakes with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 20 minutes or until the farro is tender. Drain, discard the bay leaf, and toss the farro with the dressing.

To make the dressing, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat, add the minced garlic, and sauté for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, and add 2 more tablespoons olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Whisk together, and stir into the farro. In the same pan, heat 1 more tablespoon olive oil and sauté the brussels sprouts for 5 minutes, or until they begin to brown at the edges.

In a large bowl, combine the farro, roasted vegetables, and brussels sprouts. Fold in the kale. Top with the pomegranate seeds and nuts, if using. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Recipe courtesy of Terri Maultsby of Think, Eat, Grow. Think, Eat, Grow is featured in The Scout Guide Triad–Greensboro, Winston-Salem, & High Point.