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Best Recipes, Quick and Easy, Salads, Vegetarian

Kale salad with farro, dried fruit and blue cheese

Kale salad with farro, dried fruit and blue cheese
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Kale is about as unlikely a food star as you can imagine. It's tough and fibrous. Bite a piece of raw kale and you'll practically end up with splinters between your teeth. Nevertheless, kale has become a green of the ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Serves 4 to 6
  • 1/4 cup farro
  • Water
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup mixed dried fruit (such as sour cherries, cranberries, raisins)
  • 1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
  • 1 pound kale (about 2 bunches)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Step 1Toast the farro in a dry medium saucepan over medium heat until it smells nutty and turns golden, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and bring to a simmer. Season with one-half teaspoon salt and cook until the farro is tender but still a little chewy, about 45 minutes. Drain (there will probably still be some liquid left), rinse under cold running water and gently pat dry in a kitchen towel.

Step 2Place the dried fruit in a small bowl with the Grand Marnier. Add just enough warm water to cover and set aside until softened, about 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can microwave them for 30 seconds and let stand for 5 minutes.

Step 3Remove and discard the stems from the kale. Chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon salt and the olive oil. Grab the leaves by the handfuls and massage them roughly. Don't be timid. After a minute or two, the coarse, stiff leaves will turn soft and silky. You'll have about half the volume of kale you started with.

Step 4Drain the dried fruit and add it to the kale, along with the cooked farro, blue cheese, red onion, pecans and vinegar. Toss to mix well, then season to taste with black pepper and more salt and vinegar, if necessary.


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