This salad is a celebration of textures, seasons, and flavors. I like to make it when apples are first in season, but then make some variation of it all winter long. You can load it up with whatever fresh and dried fruit you have on hand, and this tangy Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette will keep it from being overly sweet.
Farro, dried fruit, and seeds are “nice additions” items on the Vinegar Home Kitchen Staples Checklist.They’re easy items to keep on hand because they have a long shelf life and are affordable. Seeds and nuts also freeze well if you don’t use them regularly.
Toasting the walnuts adds a nice toasty flavor, but you can skip that step if you’re pressed for time.
5-6 cups curly kale, stems removed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1½ cups cooked farro
2-3 small apples, cored and diced
1-2 scallions, diced
½ cup walnuts, chopped (toasting is optional)
½ cup raisin
small handful of dried apricots, chopped (or other dried fruit)
small handful of sunflowers seeds
coarse or flaky salt for finishing
fresh ground pepper to taste
Optional substitutions or additions
cheddar cheese, small cubes
red onions, slivered
carrots, peeled and grated
pecans or almonds
Cook the farro:
Cook farro according to package and allow to cool to room temperature.
Chop the veggies:
Wash, dry, and de-stem the kale by either tearing or cutting away the thick stem in each leaf (see Top 5 Things to Keep in the Freezer for how you can use the thick stems). With a good knife, chop kale into bite-sized pieces.
Rinse and dice scallions, apples, and optional veggies.
Toast the nuts:
You can toast nuts on the stovetop or in the oven (no need for oil). Whichever method you choose, stay vigilant and keep your eye on them as they brown quickly.
Oven method (7-8 minutes): preheat oven to 350°F and spread nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Check in 4 minutes, toss, and then set the timer for another 3 minutes.
Stovetop method (4-5 minutes): Place them in a single layer in a skillet or cast iron pan. Keep the heat low and toss every couple of minutes.
Once the nuts are toasted, give them a rough chop.
Mix up the vinaigrette:
My first choice for this salad is this Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette, but this Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette will also work nicely. There is also a simple apple cider vinaigrette recipe in Fattoush Salad with Black-eyed Peas.
Combine and toss thoroughly:
Combine all ingredients. Dress the salad and toss for a minute or so to saturate the kale leaves thoroughly.