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Meet Book Publishing Roundtable Guest Speaker: Ulla Kjarval

Updated: Apr 14, 2021

Ulla Kjarval was a food blogger for over a decade and has been published in many online and print publications. Growing up on a sheep farm in upstate New York, much of her work has focused on connecting rural and urban communities. She currently resides in Valley Stream, NY with her husband and two young daughters.

Check out one of her recipes:

Ulla’s Farro Butternut Squash

I discovered grain salads a few years ago and have been a fan since, as they are perfect for incorporating seasonal vegetables. They make sharing easy too, even though BBQs and family gatherings have been put on pause during the pandemic. Whenever I have made this and brought it to family events in the past, I am always asked for the recipe. I alternate between cucumber grain salads in the height of summer, to this butternut squash recipe. The alchemy of the toothsome grain, toasted nuts, salty cheese, sweet dried fruit, and tangy onion dressing is magic. There is no need to be strict about what you put into the salad, it is forgiving: any nut, cheese, or dried fruit works. The best part is that this salad can be made ahead and creates a colorful, healthy meal on its own, or as a side throughout the week. It is great with store-bought rotisserie chicken or grilled meats.


1 ¾ cups or about 9 ounces of farro, cooked per instructions

1 butternut squash, about 4 cups, peeled and cubed, roasted at 400 for 25-30 minutes

½ cup dried sweetened cranberries

3/4 cup roasted walnuts or pepitas

4 ounces feta

A handful of parsley (optional)

Olive oil to coat the butternut squash before roasting


1 small or half a large red onion, sliced

5 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 and put a pot of water on to boil.

Cook farro per instructions. I do 10 minutes. Like pasta, you boil in water until it’s done. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, peel and cut the butternut squash.

Cut into cubes, about one inch across.

In a sheet pan, toss the butternut squash pieces in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 25-30- minutes. Toss halfway through.

Dressing: mix olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper, whisk or mix with a fork. Slice the red onion and add to dressing. It will marinate while the farro and butternut squash cook.

To assemble, add cooked farro, roasted butternut squash toasted nuts, crumbled feta, and dressing. Toss gently and add parsley.

Serve immediately or refrigerate and eat later.

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