This Farro-Kale Salad Isn't Just a Flash in the Pan (Er, Bowl)
Okay, we realize the words “kale salad” might induce eye-rolling in a few of you. BUT kale never asked to be a trend, so why fault its leafy, fiber-packed bunches for internet oversaturation? One steadfast fan: jewelry designer (and avid cook!) Christy Curcuru, of Growing Jewelry, who adds nutty grains and a tangy honey-mustard dressing to amp up her version. “It might sound boring at first, but everyone I’ve ever made it for loves it,” she says. “And it’s the recipe I get asked for the most.” It’s also so very adaptable—add fish, chicken, or grilled veggies to make it a one-bowl meal.
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup cooked farro or other grain, cooked to retain some bite
1 to 2 bunches lacinato (a.k.a. dinosaur) kale
½ cup toasted pine nuts (or substitute chopped and toasted almonds, walnuts, or cashews)
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup grated carrots
½ cup freshly grated parmesan
A few slices of crusty bread (stale bread works great here!)
¼ cup olive oil or melted butter
Whisk all dressing ingredients together and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Pull the kale leaves off the thick stems and chop them up into shreds or bite-size pieces. Wash and pat dry or run through a salad spinner, then squeeze the kale in your fists to massage it a little bit and break up the fibers. Pour on the dressing and set aside to let it marinade for a bit.
Now, for the fresh croutons. Tear the bread into small pieces and toss with olive oil (you could even use melted butter if you're feeling dangerous) and salt and pepper. Spread the oiled pieces on a sheet pan and roast at 375 degrees. Start tossing and checking the croutons after 10 minutes, cooking until they’re crunchy and evenly browned.
Add carrots, tomatoes, farro, and nuts to kale and toss to coat. Top with fresh, warm croutons and sprinkle with parmesan.