Charred kale = current food obsession. Farro = side project/current food obsession. I’m also hooked on adding lemon to meals too…. coming to realize that I have a lot of food obsessions, not that it’s a bad thing! I can’t help it!
My Instagram Feed and Pinterest Feed are 99.5% food; the other 0.5% is friends, fitness, travel, and cats. I love trying new foods and creating recipes. Cooking and eating good food makes me happy. Life is too short (and your body too precious) to eat TV dinners or fast food. Charred kale and farro transform salads to the next level.
This charred kale and farro salad with salmon is amazing! Kris was extremely skeptical of the creation of this meal. There was kitchen hovering, raised eyebrows, and lots of questions…. so many questions. And then he took a bite… and he was hooked. After lots of “Mmmhhmmm” and “so good”, Kris said he’d eat this salad anytime. So it will remain part of our regular menu.
Inspiration for this salad comes from 10 Barrel Brewing in downtown Boise. We went for a Saturday lunch a few weeks back, and I ordered their Farro and Charred Kale Salad. I love their food (and beer!) and, honestly, I normally order a burger when we go there for dinner. But I prefer lighter meals for lunch, so I went for the Farro and Charred Kale Salad, which I had been eyeing on their menu for a while but had never ordered. It was DELICIOUS, and I knew I had to recreate it at home.
I’m calling my salad “Charred Kale and Farro” instead of “Farro and Charred Kale” because I dramatically increased the ratio of kale to farro. I wanted more vegetables than grains. Farro is considered an ancient grain. It is a complex carbohydrate and will not cause a huge spike in blood sugars because of the high fiber content. Farro has an intense, nutty flavor, and is incredibly versatile. You can use it in anything from risotto to casseroles to breakfasts to desserts. Note that it does require soaking overnight, though. I actually soaked the farro overnight in kefir whey. Soaking whole grains has several benefits: the grains cook faster, it reduces anti-nutrients (i.e.phytic acid), and it makes the grain easier to digest. For more information on preparing whole grains, check out this article from Cultures for Health and this article from Authority Nutrition on phytic acid. I’ve started experimenting with soaking, souring, and sprouting grains, so expect more posts on the topic in the future.
Salmon pairs beautifully with the charred kale and farro. Salmon is also what 10 Barrel suggested as the protein for the salad. Thanks to one of our friends, we had some wild caught Alaskan salmon in the freezer. I also added charred onions to my version of the salad. To complete the dish, I made a simple lemon garlic dressing and tossed the farro with shaved parmesan and pumpkin seeds for a little crunch. This salad can be served warm or chilled. It is a little more involved than your average salad, I will admit, but guarantee it will be worth the effort.
Let me how you like it and if you use farro!
- 1 cup dry farro, soaked overnight
- 6 large kale leaves, stems removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
- ½ onion, sliced
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup shaved parmesan
- 2 salmon fillets, 6-8 oz each
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- For the dressing: 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 minced garlic clove, ¼ salt, ¼ tsp pepper
- Lemon wedges, optional
- *The day before, place 1 cup of dry farro in a large bowl, cover with water (or kefir whey) and let sit at room temperature or in refrigerator overnight, for at least 12 hrs. Prep time does not include soaking.
- Strain off soaking liquid, you can rinse farro if you want.
- Place soaked farro into a medium sauce pan, add enough water to cover by 1 inch.
- Bring farro to a boil over medium - high heat. Once it boils, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- While the farro is cooking, preheat oven to 425 degrees for the salmon.
- Place salmon on a greased baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Bake salmon for 6-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets, salmon is done when it easily flakes with a fork.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
- Working in batches, place the kale into the skillet and let sit for 2-3 minutes, until it starts to char.
- Repeat with the remaining kale, adding more olive oil as needed. Set charred kale aside.
- Next, place onion slices in skillet and let sit for 2-3 minutes until charred.
- Toss charred kale, charred onion, pumpkin seeds, parmesan, and cooked farro in a large serving bowl.
- To prepare dressing, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, and salt and pepper together in a bowl.
- Drizzle salad dressing over mixed salad.
- Top with salmon and serve with lemon wedges if desired.