This vibrant Kale, Farro and Pomegranate Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette is healthy and satisfying and a beautiful addition to your Valentine’s Day table.
Kale, Farro and Pomegranate Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette
For The Vinaigrette
- 3 Tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- lemon zest from ½ lemon
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 ounces extra virgin olive oil (6 Tablespoons)
For The Salad
- 4-5 cups kale stems and tough ribs removed and chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ cups cooked farro prepared according to package directions
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- ½ cup pistachios roasted
- kosher salt to taste
For The Vinaigrette
- Combine the shallots, lemon zest, lemon juice, maple syrup, Dijon mustard and salt in a small bowl.
- Slowly add the olive oil and whisk until the mixture is emulsified.
For The Salad
- In a large bowl, combine the kale, 1 Tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt. Massage the kale for several minutes until it is soft.
- Add the farro, pomegranate seeds and pistachios to the kale.
- Pour the dressing over the kale mixture and toss until well mixed.
You’ll need the following ingredients for this recipe(See the recipe for specific amounts.)…
- Maple syrup
- Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
Prepare the Vinaigrette:
Combine the shallots, lemon zest, lemon juice, maple syrup, Dijon mustard and salt in a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil and whisk until the mixture is emulsified.
Prepare the Salad:
Remove the seeds from the pomegranate. Pomegranate juice stains, and if the seeds are not removed carefully, you and your kitchen will resemble a crime scene. Maria over at SheLovesBiscotti describes my favorite way to remove the seeds in her blog post, “How To Easily Remove Pomegranate Seeds”. You may also be able to find packaged pomegranate seeds in grocery stores, but my experience is that the taste is often inferior.
Heads up, while searching for some frozen cranberries for my Cranberry Margaritas Remixed recipe coming next week, I found frozen pomegranate seeds at the grocery store. They are not quite as plump and juicy as fresh, but they are delicious!
In a large bowl, combine the kale, 1 Tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt. Massage the kale for several minutes until it is soft. This helps to tenderize the kale and makes it easier to chew.
Add the farro, pomegranate seeds and pistachios to the kale.
Pour the dressing over the kale mixture, and toss until the salad is well mixed.
You can prepare this salad ahead, and it will be delicious the next day as well. Unlike many other salad greens, kale does not wilt.
Things you might like to know about this Kale, Farro and Pomegranate Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette….
Dijon is a pale yellow, creamy, tangy French-style mustard different from the traditional American bright yellow mustard. There are many brands of Dijon and their flavors can be very different. Experiment with various brands and choose your favorite. My clear favorite is Maille. Note that not all Dijon mustards are vegan and gluten free so check your ingredients carefully if you desire a vegan and/or gluten free product.
Farro is an ancient grain which reemerged in Italy and is popular with chefs around the world. It belongs to the wheat family, and therefore contains gluten. It is chewy and nutty and often used in risotto-style dishes and also soups, stews and salads. Farro is a good source of fiber, iron, protein and magnesium.
Worthy of the “superfood” label, kale is rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber and studies have show that it may help prevent disease. It is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, arugula, Brussels sprouts, collards, watercress and radishes. There are several varieties of kale including curly kale, dinosaur kale also known as Tuscan kale, purple flowering kale, white flowering kale and red kale. It can be sautéed, steamed, baked, pureed as well as served raw in a salad. Experiment with the different varieties and cooking methods for kale to find the ones that best suit your taste so that you can take advantage of its high nutrient density.
Fresh lemon juice is a must for this recipe. Lemons can be expensive, so you want to get as much juice out of them as possible. There are a number of ways to do this, but the quickest and my favorite way is to heat whole lemons in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Be careful not to overheat the lemon or the juice will literally spill out of the pores of the lemon. Once removed from the microwave, allow the lemon to cool slightly. Then juice with a juicer, reamer or the tines of a fork.
Some recipes list whole or parts of lemons as ingredients. I prefer not to do that because each lemon can produce a significantly different amount of juice. If you google how much juice is in a lemon, you’ll find anywhere from 3-5 Tablespoons. If this recipe requested 3 lemons, by that theory, those lemons could produce as much as 15 Tablespoons to as little as 9 Tablespoons of lemon juice. 15 Tablespoons is a little under a cup of juice and 9 Tablespoons is a little over a half cup of juice, a significant difference.
If you have leftover juice, you can store it in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days, but it does not stay fresh for long. If you aren’t planning to use it immediately, freeze it in ice cube trays, and once frozen, add the lemon cubes to a freezer bag or freezer safe container and store in the freezer until you’re ready for lemon juice again.
Maple syrup comes from the sap of sugar maple trees. It is available in 4 grades based on its color. Grade A is light amber, medium amber and dark amber and Grade B is the darkest syrup available and has the strongest maple flavor. Grade B is usually for baking whereas the lighter grades are drizzled on foods such as pancakes. Read food labels carefully when buying maple syrup to make sure that it is pure and not maple flavored syrup with added ingredients such as corn syrup or refined sugar.
All “maple syrups” may not be vegan. Check the ingredients and label carefully to make sure there are no added ingredients.
Pistachios are loaded with nutrients and they are lower in calories than most nuts. One ounce of pistachios contains 159 calories whereas there are 185 calories in one ounce of walnuts and 193 calories in one ounce of pecans. They are high in protein, fiber, and antioxidants as well as vitamin B6 and potassium. Pistachios promote healthy gut bacteria and may lower cholesterol and blood pressure and promote blood vessel health. They have a low glycemic index and may also help lower blood sugar. You’ll find a more comprehensive article on their benefits here.
Pomegranates are round reddish brown fruits with seeds called arils surrounded by sweet flesh that are the only edible part of the fruit. They are in season in the winter months in the northern hemisphere. Pomegranates are often called a superfood. They are packed with nutrients and plant compounds that may help lower the risk of certain illnesses. They are also believed to improve memory and exercise performance.
Pomegranate juice stains, and if the seeds are not removed carefully, you and your kitchen will resemble a crime scene. Maria over at SheLovesBiscotti describes my favorite way to remove the seeds in her blog post, “How To Easily Remove Pomegranate Seeds”. You may also be able to find packaged pomegranate seeds in the produce and freezer section of grocery stores. My experience is that the taste of pomegranate seeds packaged in the grocery section is often inferior to fresh or frozen. Frozen pomegrante seeds may be less plump and juicy than fresh.
Shallots are members of the allium family which includes onions, garlic, leeks, chives and scallions. They have a mild onion flavor and are thus a great option for use in a salad or dressing. Shallots should be firm without wrinkles or sprouts when purchased. Although green shallots are available in the spring, dry shallots are available year round like onions and garlic.
If you don’t own a zester, check in here for an article on alternatives. I couldn’t live without my zester. The zest of fruits adds beautiful color and flavor to your dishes. Whether you use a zester or an alternative, watch out not to add any of the white pith just under the bright skin of the fruit. It has a bitter taste.
Add this delicious Very Veggie Bolognese Sauce and pasta to the this salad for a perfect Valentine’s Day celebration.