A powerhouse of superfood and fiber, Farro Kale and Olive Salad is easy to make and full of texture! Creamy, crunchy, and chewy with notes of citrus. Make ahead for several days of a ready-made lunch. This recipe is vegetarian, optionally vegan and gluten free.
Greetings loves. I hope this finds you well and your week hummin along… smoothly. It’s almost the weekend! The only downside to this weekend is Daylight Savings.
Why a downside?
We’re going to lose a whole hour of luxurious sleep. Or luxurious happy hour… however you look at it. Which one would you rather give up?
More citrus? Why yes. Even if it’s in the vinaigrette. Gotta get it in there somehow.
Let’s talk farro, shall we? I’m stepping out of my regular brown rice box in an effort to try some new (to me) grains. I recently discovered farro and am excited to share with you what I’ve learned.
It’s delicious in salads, soups, stews, and can be subbed for brown rice in any dish. It’s an ancient whole grain prized for it’s earthy, nutty flavor and chewy texture. Some say all other wheat varieties are from farro, the original ancestor.
Farro is high in fiber, iron, magnesium, B vitamins, and protein. As a bonus, it’s easy to digest.
Farro is similar to wheat berries, but wheat berries are chewier and take longer to cook. Totally worth it. Wheat berries are much more economical than farro, however, at $.03/oz versus $.29/oz (woah, I know!). If you can find farro in bulk, the price is more reasonable, yet still expensive. I’ve made this recipe with both and love them just the same.
This Garbanzo Summer Salad with creamy dill dressing is made with wheat berries. Pin it or bookmark it because it will be in season soon. It’s one of my favorites on Vanilla And Bean.
Farro Kale and Olive Salad can hang out in the fridge for up to 3 days after it’s made. It’s sturdy, and the flavors get better with an overnight rest in the fridge. This salad is a flavorful side or a delicious lunch and would be a welcome addition to any potluck.
I sometimes grab a small bowl for a late afternoon snack; you know, that 3:00 time frame? I’m hangry!
Have you tried farro? If so, what is your favorite way to use it?
Farro, Kale and Olive Salad
For the Salad:
- 1 C (210g) Farro or Wheat Berries (look for hard winter wheat berries) *See Note for GF Option
- 4 C (860g) Water add 1 C (215) more water if using wheat berries (add more water if needed to keep the grains covered)
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 3/4 C (85g) Walnuts
- 6 oz (170g) Green or Black Olives 1 can, drained and pitted (I buy pre-pitted)
- 1/4 C Flat Leaf Parsley rough chopped
- 1 Bunch of Lacinato Kale about 15 stems
- 1/2 C Feta crumbled or diced (optional)
- Ground Pepper to taste
For the Dressing:
- 2 Tbs Olive Oil I use California Olive Ranch
- 1 tsp Small Orange zested, about 1
- 2 Tbs Fresh-Squeezed Orange Juice 1 small orange, I used a mandarine
- 1 tsp Lemon zested, about 1
- 1 Tbs Fresh-Squeezed Lemon Juice about 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tsp Stone Ground Mustard
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- Wedges of orange and lemon for squeezing over salad.
For the Salad:
- Preheat oven to 350F. Time for cooking either variety of grain can depend on age of grain. For Farro: rinse the farro under running water. In a 4-quart saucepan add the farro, 4 cups of water and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to simmer for about 30 minutes, uncovered. Test the farro, it should be tender, yet have a chewy texture. If needed, give them a little more time to cook. Drain off excess water through a strainer, then run cool water over the farro in a strainer. Strain well. Transfer into a large mixing bowl and cool in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes , stirring every 5 minutes or so as to cool it down quickly. For Wheat Berries: rinse the wheat berries under running water. In a 4 quart saucepan add the wheat berries, pour in add 4 C water and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, turn down heat to simmer, cover and cook for about 1 hour. Start checking the berries at about 40 minutes to see if they are as soft as you prefer. If not, keep them cooking another 15-20 minutes.Pour off excess water through a strainer, then run cool water over the wheat berries in a strainer. Strain well. Transfer into a large mixing bowl and cool in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so as to cool it down quickly.
- Toast walnuts in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Cool then rough chop. Add to mixing bowl with farro or wheat berries.
- Slice the green olives in quarters and add to mixing bowl along with the chopped parsley.
- Destem the kale by removing the ribs. Roll all the leaves together and chiffonade into thin 1/4" ribbons. Place the kale in a large bowl (separate from the other ingredients), pour 2 Tbs of dressing (see below) over the kale, set a timer for 2 minutes, and massage the kale. This technique tenderizes the leaves. Add to the mixing bowl with all the other ingredients.
- Add the feta to the mixing bowl.
- Combine all the ingredients, mixing throughly, adding dressing every few stirs until all the ingredients are throughly mixed. Taste for seasoning adjustment.
- Set a bowl of orange and lemon wedges along side the salad for juicing to enjoy extra citrus flavor.
- Store in a lidded container for up to three days.
For the Dressing:
- Add olive oil, zest, orange and lemon juice, mustard and salt to a small jar, lid and shake until emulsified.