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Farro and Kale Salad

03/06/2014 02:45PM ● Published by Lana Granfors

By Lana Granfors
Photo by Kara Stewart

Farro And Kale Salad

Kale has become a staple in our kitchen and in our garden.  The benefits were the reason we started eating kale, but it is the wonderful flavor that keeps me cooking with this green.  Unfortunately, our dog has discovered it in our garden along with all the other greens we had growing, so it is back to the farmer’s market.       

Don’t let the list of ingredients throw you off this recipe, as you probably have most everything else in your pantry and fridge. If not, these too are readily available at any market. This salad is made with simple and rustic ingredients, so use the best quality you can afford. The grain, farro, is chewy and very hearty and one of my favorites. Added to the kale, plump fruit, salty cheese, and buttery pine nuts, this salad will make your taste buds dance! It’s perfect as a nice side dish on one of our cool evenings or plan it as a cold salad on an upcoming warm day. The more you eat this, the better you’ll look in that bikini this summer.


3 cups farro
½ cup pine nuts
½ cup dried cranberries
Juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil (equal parts to lemon juice)
1 bunch Tuscan (Lucinato or Dinosaur) kale, stems and tough ribs removed (about 2 cups)
4 T olive oil
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 T thyme leaves
1 sprig rosemary
2 T chopped parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ tsp. crushed red pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan


1 | Toast the dry farro in a sauté pan.  Stir while toasting and remove from heat once it has lightly browned.  Next, put the farro in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water until an inch above the grains. Allow to soak for at least 20 minutes.  

2 | Wipe the sauté pan and toast pine nuts until golden.  

3 | Place cranberries in a small glass bowl and cover with hot water. Let soak for 10 minutes, or until plumped. Drain and set aside.        

4 | Meanwhile, juice half a lemon into a glass measuring cup and add the same amount of olive oil. Add salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste. Set aside. 

5 | Drain farro and refill with cold water again, until just covered.  Add a generous amount of kosher salt and bring to a boil.  Cover and lower heat to a simmer for 10 minutes, but do not overcook.  You want the farro to have an al dente bite. If more time is needed, cover the pot off the heat for an additional 3-5 minutes.  Drain farro and spread on a baking sheet to cool. Once cooled, transfer to a large bowl.     

6 | Wash and dry kale. Cut into bite-sized pieces or into strips.  

7 | Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, thyme, rosemary, pepper flakes, and ½ teaspoon of salt and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the onion softens and starts to color. Stir in chopped kale and cook an additional 5-6 minutes, or until kale is tender. Discard the rosemary sprig. Add kale and onion mixture, as well as the pine nuts and Parmesan cheese, to the bowl of farro.  Pour lemon and olive oil over salad and toss to mix. Serve in a bowl with additional grated parmesan and toasted pine nuts sprinkled on top. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Enjoy!

Serves: 4-6

Soak: 20 Minutes; Prep:  10 Minutes; Cook: 30 Minutes; Total Time: 40 Minutes

Food+Dining, In Print recipe farro and kale salad
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