As the weather starts to get colder here in Michigan, I’ve been craving salads with a little more warmth / substance. This twist on The Frugal Vegan‘s “Kale Salad with Cherries and Almonds” really hit the spot. It has kale, farro, blueberries, sliced almonds and a homemade dijon mustard vinaigrette.
Cook the farro according to the package instructions. Once cooked, remove from heat and cover to keep warm. I just used 1 cup of store-brand farro and what I love about this grain is it’s similar to rice in terms of texture and softness but it’s packed with more protein, fiber and calcium than brown rice.
Wash and rinse your kale. For this recipe, I just used some leftover kale that I had from another recipe, which was about 1/2 a head of curly kale. Kale seems to be such a buzzword these days, but it will always be a staple in my kitchen. It’s high in fiber, iron, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and is packed with antioxidants and calcium.
While I love kale on it’s own, sometimes it can be a little tough to chew. My kale secret: massage. Put your kale in a bowl, drizzle it with the juice of half of a lemon, sprinkle it with coarse sea salt and give your kale a nice massage for about 30 seconds – to a minute. Let the kale rest for a few minutes while the acidity of the lemon juice and salt continue to break down the cellulose fibers of the leaves
While your kale rests, you can use this time to whip up your vinaigrette. I never really follow a recipe when I’m making vinaigrettes…it’s more trial and error of mixing ingredients, which can be fun! For this particular vinaigrette, I used:
- 2 TBS of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 TBS of white wine vinegar
- 2 TBS of dijon mustard
- 1 TBS of organic agave nectar
- 3 TBS EVOO
- Salt and pepper to taste.
I throw all of these ingredients in a small mason jar, give it a few shakes to mix everything together and I’m good to go. Ideally, this is made ahead of time so you can let the dressing marinate in the refrigerator before serving.
By now, your kale should be a vibrant dark green color and reduced in size. Massage the kale a few more times in the bowl and then transfer to a small colander or mesh strainer to press out all of the liquid.
To plate, spread your cooked farro (I used about 1/4 cup) on the bottom of your plate. Add the kale, separating the pressed leaves with your fingers. Top with blueberries, sliced almonds, a drizzle of your vinaigrette and enjoy!