Oh My Potluck!

Good recipes to share with friends.

In A Land Farro, Farro Away Salad (with Kale, Apples and Fennel)

Farro Fennel SaladI just discovered farro. It seems to be a trendy little grain these days. I’d never heard of it previously but I learned it is the ancestor of all grains. As evolution goes, its offspring have done better than it – in yield and tolerance, at least. Still, I haven’t ever tasted anything quite like farro. It looks similar to spelt but the taste is a bit nuttier and sweeter. It’s healthy too, so that’s cool.


Farro grows in a land farro, farro away from me: Italy. It’s a shame nearer climates do not suit the grain because it seems an awful waste to fly it such a long way. It’s all too easy these days to get something from across great distances at the click of a button. I like the idea of the 100-mile diet, but my “exotic” and “tropical” tastes seem to be standing in the way. I guess that’s the point of the diet, though. At least I’d have peas and carrots, and maybe a tiny apple.



My local farmer’s market will be shutting down operations soon. When they have their final market party, it becomes very apparent how lucky I am to have access to imported produce year‑round. If I were a “homesteader” I’d probably do more canning, eat lots of potatoes and do all that, but I would sure miss my lettuce in February. It’s too bad you can’t make a salad out of pickled lettuce.



While you sit down to enjoy this salad, try listening to some Jacco Gardner. It seems like the perfect pairing. A glass of chardonnay or another dry but fruity wine would probably be good, too. I recommend all three.

In A Land Farro, Farro Away

Makes about fifteen small side servings, or four main plates.

  • 1 cup farro, rinsed and soaked for about 8 hours
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 ounces kale, stemmed and chopped to bite size pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 medium, tart apple, sliced thin (like Granny Smith)
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • Pinch fresh ground pepper
  • ½ cup Manchego cheese, shaved*
  1. Heat oven to 400˚F (205˚C).
  2. Combine farro and water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15-30 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed. When the texture suits you, drain off any excess water. Set aside and cool slightly.
  3. Coat the sliced apple and fennel with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook 15 to 20 minutes, until edges start to lightly brown.
  4. Toss the kale with the remaining olive oil and salt. Set aside to marinate while the apples and fennel finish cooking, about 10 minutes.
  5. Combine the farro, apples, fennel and marinated kale. The kale should wilt just a little bit from the heat.
  6. For the dressing, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, zest, agave nectar and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Sprinkle the Manchego cheese on top. Seal and bring to potluck.

Because kale is such a hardy green, the salad dressing and heat don’t ruin the texture of the leaves. In fact, it makes it easier to chew. So, let ‘er ‘nate.

* Leave out Manchego cheese to make this vegan.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on September 19, 2013 by in Cheese, Salad, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

Popular Recipes

Enter your email address to get the latest recipes delivered fresh to your inbox.

Connect with me!

%d bloggers like this: