Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lemony Kale Salad with Goji Berries, Farro and Pistachio

Lemony Kale Salad with Goji Berries, Farro and Pistachio

If you had told me a year ago I'd be making myself a salad of mostly kale I would have bet you were wrong.  And I would have lost.

Way behind the kale bandwagon, I've finally found a love for this somewhat tough leafy green.  Or in my case, purple.

A farmer's market find of this beautifully ruffled, purple kale has me positively hooked.  We started adding it to our morning blended juice, then it found its way sprinkled into salads, and now it's evolved into a salad all on its own.

Lemon Blossoms
Lemon blossoms setting for next season's fruit!
Dressed with lemons from Dad's tree, a splash of white balsamic vinegar and a touch of avocado oil, the salad balances with chopped cucumber, sweet goji berries that plump resting in the dressing, and about a cup of farro - another new find.

Originating in the Fertile Crescent (a crescent-shaped region containing the comparatively moist and fertile land of otherwise arid and semi-arid Western Asia, the Nile Valley and Nile Delta of northeast Africa, it was also near Asia Minor or known as Anatolia - from Wikipedia), Farro has been found in the ancient tombs of Egyptian Kings and is said to have fed the Roman Legions.  Italian's have used the grain as an valued ingredient for centuries, and farro is now gaining popularity in the US.

My reading on farro has actually left me a little confused as to exactly what it is and how to cook it and I often times have difficulty finding it in the store, but the 10-minute version found at my local Trader Joe's has made easy work and has brought a nice, al-dente grain to my salad.

So, with spring greens (or purples) appearing at the farmer's markets, don't forget to pick up a bunch (or two) of kale.  It's what's for lunch.

Lemony Kale Salad with Goji Berries, Farro and Pistachio

Lemony Kale Salad with Goji Berries, Farro and Pistachios
A lovely side or main dish salad, this lemony dish is actually even better after chilling in the fridge for an hour or two or even the next day.  With its ability to "sit", it makes a perfect potluck dish or work/school lunch.  Filled with cucumber, goji berries and a sprinkle of pistachio you've got a meal filled with goodness!
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1 bunch kale, sliced thinly (I like the purple, ruffled kale)
3-4 Tbs goji berries (or raisins)
1 cucumber, chopped
1-2 slices onion, chopped
3/4 cup cooked farro (I use Trader Joe's 10 Minute variety)**
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
1-2 Tbs oil (we like Chosen Foods Avocado oil)
pistachios, shelled and chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Lemony Kale Salad with Goji Berries, Farro and Pistachio
Slice kale thinly and place into a large bowl.  Sprinkle with goji berries.  Add the cucumber, onion and cooked farro (note we've also used barley and Israeli Cous Cous) and toss.

Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the salad and then drizzle with 1 Tbs of white balsamic.  Drizzle with 1-2 Tbs of oil and toss to combine and coat with the dressing.  Taste and adjust, adding more vinegar if desired.

Salad may be eaten now, however, I prefer it after it has chilled for a few hours or even overnight.  The kale tends to soften and the goji berries plump nicely!  If serving the next day, squeeze a bit of lemon over the top and toss again to refresh just before serving.

When serving, garnish with pepitas and pistachios and add salt and pepper to taste.

**Liv Life Note:  We've used barley and Israeli Cous Cous in place of the farro with success!


  1. It all sounds so fresh and good, Liv. :-) I too like kale, and am looking forward to cooler weather arriving soon so I can grow it. It just wilts and dies in this devastating heat.

    1. Oh! I've never grown it myself... what a great idea!!

  2. Yum!!! Better late than never getting on the kale bandwagon as far as I'm concerned :-) I grow it on my rooftop garden, and it's quite prolific!

    1. You're the second person to recommend growing it! I'm so trying it!

  3. Seriously having stomach growls now.

  4. This looks fabulous! And we just had a Trader Joe's open here a few months ago, so I can even try it with their farro.


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