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Autumn Farro Salad

Autumn Farro Salad with Tart Cherries, Kale, Pecans, and Honeycrisp Apples

Autumn Farro Salad with Tart Cherries, Kale, Pecans, and Honeycrisp Apples can be served as a healthy, vegetarian entree or a wonderful side dish for a savory meat. The dressing is sweet/tart combination of dijon mustard, white balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. 

Farro is an ancient Italian wheat grain with a earthy, hearty flavor profile. It is in the same family as rice and barley. Farro cooks in about 15 minutes, and is best cooked al dente (to the tooth). 

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups farro
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 3 larges kale leaves (makes about 1 cup) trimmed and chopped fine
  • 1 cup whole pecans
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • ½ cup red onion minced
  • 1 Honeycrisp Apple
  • 1 lemon cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • cup white balsamic vinegar
  • cup  olive oil
  • ½ cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese optional

Instructions

  1. In a large pot on the stovetop, add the water and salt. Bring to a boil. Add farro and cook for about 12 - 15 minutes until al dente. Stir occasionally.  Drain in a colander and transfer farro to large serving bowl. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the kale to the slightly cooled farro and toss to combine. The residual heat from the farro will soften the kale and turn it a brighter green.  Allow the farro/kale mixture to cool to room temperature. Stir occasionally to speed the cooling process.
  3. Toast the pecans over medium-low heat in a dry, non-stick saute pan for about 4-6 minutes. Stir often to prevent burning.  Transfer the pecans to a board and rough chop.
  4. Core and dice the apple. Juice half a lemon over the apple pieces to prevent browning.  Toss to evenly coat.
  5. Add the pecans, red onion, dried cherries, and apple to the cooled farro and kale. Toss all to combine.
  6. To make the dressing, add the salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, and maple syrup to small glass bowl. With a hand whisk, mix to thoroughly combine. Add the white balsamic vinegar and juice from the remaining lemon half and whisk to combine again. Slowly whisk in the olive oil in a small stream until emulsified.
  7. Add one half of the dressing to the farro salad and toss to coat.  Add more dressing a little at a time until it is just coated but not saturated. Reserve extra dressing for another meal.
  8. Lastly, if desired, fold in the crumbled gorgonzola cheese.
  9. Serve room temperature or chilled.
  10. The Farro Salad can be made the day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.