Farro, I owe you an apology. I didn't mean to bury you in the back of the pantry cupboard and forget all about you for, oh, a couple of years, but I did. To make amends, I've created this salad to showcase your nutty wheat taste and texture. You have great company: white beans, slow-roasted tomatoes, pecans and kale, and a mustardy balsamic vinaigrette drizzled over everything adds a bit of glamor. One of the ancient grains, you are easy to prepare (especially pearled farro, which has the outer husk removed and cooks more quickly) and versatile, pairing well with savory vegetables and spices, or with honey and fruit. This salad makes a great vegetarian main dish -- add some crumbled feta cheese if you wish -- and a perfect picnic take-along. Farro, everyone will love this salad, so I hope you forgive me for neglecting you.
Farro and kale salad with white beans and sun-dried tomato
Serves 2-3; can be multiplied.
For the salad:
1 cup farro
2 cups whole baby kale leaves (or chopped kale)
6 slow-roasted (or sun-dried) tomato halves, diced
1/4 cup canned white beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup pecan halves or pine nuts
For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup mild agave nectar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil (not fruity)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
Place the farro plus 2 cups of water in a small pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 15-20 minutes until the water is absorbed and the farro is fluffy but still chewy. Remove from the heat and transfer the farro to a large mixing bowl.
To the farro, add the kale, slow-roasted (or sun-dried) tomato, and white beans. Stir to allow the heat of the farro to begin to wilt the kale.
In a small jar, combine the vinaigrette ingredients. Cover the jar and shake it vigorously to emulsify the dressing.
Spoon only as much dressing as needed onto the farro mixture to moisten the salad without drowning it (you will have extra dressing, which you can store in the refrigerator). Allow the salad to sit for a few minutes at room temperature, then stir again, and add more dressing if necessary.
In a small nonstick frying pan, toast the nuts for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, until they are fragrant and just slightly browned. Top each serving of the salad with some of the nuts.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Vegan barley and lentil pilaf with mushrooms and spinach
Warm salad of kamut, cranberries and feta
Shrimp, kale and cannellini bean casserole
Pasta bow ties with broccoli, white beans, pine nuts and feta
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Farro with mushrooms, thyme and balsamic vinegar, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Simple farro and bean stew, from 101 Cookbooks
Farro and red beans with caramelized onions, from Poor Girl Eats Well
Fiery red bean chili, from Jeanette's Healthy Living
Spinach and farro salad with pinto beans and mozzarella, from Green Lite Bites
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