Kale Salad w/ Farro & Hearts of Palm
In honor of Thanksgiving, I need to share with you the reasons that I need to give thanks. It will be a short little emotional rant but it must be said because I am a big ball of love right now. If you hate love and sentiment, please just skip to the next paragraph. There are several things that I can not even begin to discuss how grateful I am for. If there is one thing that I am sure of, it is that I am so truly blessed by the people in my life. My husband, first and foremost, is one person that I can honestly say I don’t know where I would be without. He is such a strong, loving, supporting man and I am the luckiest to have found him. My family; my Mom, Dad, and sister, as well as my new family I so fortunately gained by marrying the man of my dreams, are all so deeply appreciated. They are the people I look up to and strive to become more like everyday. I am also incredibly thankful for my friends, you all know who you are, and I love each one so dearly and all for different reasons. I would not be the woman I am today without the friendships that I have made with some of the most kind, understanding, and beautiful women I have ever met. Good Lord, how did I get so lucky?
(k, end “love rant”.)
Thanksgiving is fast approaching and this year I am to bring a salad to dinner. I have been making this kale salad for a while, but decided that I really needed to up the ante for the holiday! This salad is packed full of deliciousness as well as all kinds of nutrients. I added the farro (a nutty ancient grain) and hearts of palm (they have a flavor like artichokes) to really make the salad standout. My favorite part about it, is that it can hold up as the main entree or as a small side to the meal. It has so much flavor and so many fiber-full ingredients that make this salad super hearty. The dressing is bright, citrusy, and laden with fresh herbs and is one of my beloved recipes that I am kind of obsessed with. I love a good kale salad but it must be prepared properly. Kris used to hate any thing kale, only because kale is thick and fibrous and he found it difficult to chew. Once I learned how to properly chop, slice, and massage the kale he was a newfound fan. Kale needs a little TLC before you start to dress it. Please look at the notes section in the recipe for full detail of instructions. This recipe makes a large bowl; it will boastingly serve five people as the principle or up to 10 people as a small accompaniment to the main dish. This year our family is having 22 people so I will doubling the recipe and making two large bowls.
- 1 bunch of Italian kale (tuscan or lacinato)
- 1 8.8oz package quick cooking farro (I buy mine at Trader Joe’s, see note below)
- 1/2 pint (8oz) baby heirloom tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 14.5oz jar of hearts of palm, sliced into thin discs
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 TBSP fresh basil, chopped
- 2 TBSP fresh herbs, chopped (I used 1 TBSP of cilantro & 1 TBSP parsley)
- juice of a lemon
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350. Add the walnuts to a small rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 8 mins. Once cooled, chop the walnuts and set aside.
- Cook the farro according to package directions (I added salt to the boiling water). Once the farro is cooked through, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- Make the dressing in a large bowl; add the garlic, shallot, basil & herbs, salt & pepper, honey, and lemon juice. With a fork or a whisk, slowly add in the olive oil and stir well to combine and emulsify the dressing. Set the dressing aside.
- Chop & massage the kale; I like to gather the bunch and chop off the thick stems. Hold the entire bunch with your left hand while using a sharp knife in your right hand to thinly slice the kale in 1/4″ thin ribbons. The smaller the better. Once the kale is chopped, use both your hands to squeeze the leaves all together and massage them for about a minute or two (this helps the leaves relax and makes them easier to chew and I think is an incredibly important step). Add the kale to the large bowl with the dressing and toss the leaves to coat. Add in the cooled farro and toss to combine. Add the hearts of palm, tomatoes, and toasted walnuts and toss to coat. Enjoy!
- I like to use the quick-cooking farro found at Trader Joe’s. You could use any grain you prefer; wheat berries, barley, brown rice, or even chickpeas.
- Toasting the walnuts is a very important step. It really brings out the nuttiness and creates so much flavor so it shouldn’t be over looked.