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Harvest Grain Salad Bowl

Servings: 8

This grain bowl is a colorful, fun meal. The pickled blueberries are a wonderful surprise that awakens the palate. You can use any combination of grains, nuts, or fruit, and the secret purée underneath it all. Cauliflower is great. Celery root is awesome. Cauliflower rice can also be a substitute for one or all of the grains.


For the pickled blueberries

  • 8 oz. blueberries or Concord grapes (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar

For the balsamic dates

  • 1 lb. pitted dates or figs, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean

For the grains

  • 1-1/2 cups dry farro
  • 1-1/2 cups dry quinoa
  • Kosher salt

For the celery root purée

  • 1-1/4 lb. celery root
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 Tbs. walnut oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper

For the roasted winter squash and shiitake mushrooms

  • 1 medium acorn squash (about 2-1/2 lb.), seeded and cut into 6 to 8 wedges
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 10 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed (about 5 cups)

For the salad

  • 6 oz. walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium stalks celery, very thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach (about 3 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup Sherry-Walnut Vinaigrette

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 977
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 297
  • Fat (g): 33
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 20
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 811
  • Carbohydrates (g): 159
  • Fiber (g): 16
  • Sugar (g): 82
  • Protein (g): 17


Make the pickled blueberries

  • Add the blueberries to a medium bowl. In a small bowl or glass measure, stir together the vinegar and sugar, and pour over the blueberries. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, or up to 8 hours.

Make the balsamic dates

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the dates, sugar, and vinegars over low heat. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, and scrape the seeds into the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the dates are saturated, and the liquid is slightly syrupy, about 6 minutes. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 3 days.

Cook the grains

  • Cook the grains separately according to package directions. Strain if necessary, and season to taste with salt. Spread grains on a large rimmed baking sheets to cool, then place in a large bowl and toss to combine. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 3 days.

Make the celery root purée

  • Use a sharp knife to cut off the gnarly base of the celery root, and cut a thin slice from the top. Cut the root in half lengthwise, and use a paring knife to peel each half. Use a chef’s knife to coarsely chop the celery root into 1/2-inch pieces (you should have about 5 cups).
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the celery root, stock, almond milk, and walnut oil. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook just until tender, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  • Transfer the celery mixture to a blender or food processor, and add 1-1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Cover, and process or blend, until smooth, about 1-1/2 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up 8 hours.

Make the roasted squash and shiitake mushrooms

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the squash in a large bowl, and toss with the orange juice, maple syrup, walnut oil, and 2 tsp. salt. Remove the squash from the dressing using a slotted spoon, and arrange in a single layer on half of a large rimmed baking sheet. Toss the mushrooms in the remaining dressing, then transfer with a slotted spoon to the other half of the baking sheet. Set aside the remaining orange dressing in the bowl.
  • Bake until the mushrooms are golden, about 20 minutes. Carefully transfer the mushrooms to the reserved dressing in the bowl. Flip the squash, after 30 minutes, and continue to roast until tender and caramelized, about 10 minutes more.

Assemble and serve

  • Just before serving, combine the mixed grains, walnuts, celery, and spinach, and drizzle with about 6 Tbs. of the sherry vinaigrette. Smear about 2 heaping Tbs. of the celery root purée in the bottom of each of 8 shallow bowls. Divide the grain mixture evenly among the bowls. Top grains with a wedge of squash, some blueberries and dates, and the mushroom caps. Drizzle with the remaining dressing, and serve.


Rate or Review

Reviews (1 review)

  • Hassab | 10/23/2021

    I'm going to assume that the reason no one has reviewed this one yet is that it looks labor-intensive. It is labor-intensive. But it's worth it. There are so many things to love about this recipe that it takes time to unpack them all.

    Individually each bit is delicious and has many potential uses. The dates are sticky and sweet and would make a delicious pair to a creamy cheese like brie or maybe a goat cheese. The celery root puree is, as is suggested by the writer, absolutely heavenly and I think the leftovers will become a soup in their own right. And the pickled blueberries are a nice surprise that I think I will use in other salads as well.

    Put together the individual parts lose a little bit of their individual specialness but when dressed with the vinaigrette the whole is just as delicious as the parts, in a different way than expected. I recommend making this - or at least some of the parts. Especially the celery root puree (note: I did it with macadamia mile and chicken broth because that's what I had but I don't think those substitutions are responsible for the deliciousness).

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