The deep dark leafy green that we generally refer to as lacinato kale is much-prized in the Tuscan countryside. In Italy, they call it cavolo nero and they enjoy it in fresh salads like this one, in hearty soups paired with beans and sausage, or simply sauteed with olive oil and garlic. The green markets were overflowing with lacinato kale this past weekend so I grabbed some up and pulled together this quick little side. We enjoyed ours with a lovely steak on the barbecue and our first Jersey tomato salad of the season. My kids were skeptical at first but after their first bite of this zinging salad they came around. My husband loved it so much he piled it onto thick toast slices the next morning at breakfast. A success all around.
Serves 4 as a side
1/2 cup farro, rinsed *see note
1 large or 2 small bunches lacinato kale
1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese, plus more for serving
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Cook the farro according to the package instructions, drain well, and let cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, remove the tough inner stem of the kale. Working with a handful of leaves at a time, stack the leaves, roll them up like a cigar, shred them into ribbons, and place them into a medium bowl. Add the cheese to the bowl and stir to combine.
- In a small measuring jug, combine the garlic, lemon rind, lemon juice, and oil and whisk until combined. Add the cooled farro to the kale and pour over the lemon dressing. Stir to coat evenly. Let the salad sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with extra pecorino if you like.
Nutritional analysis based on 4 servings:
Calories 208, Fat 14g, Sodium 46mg, Carbohydrate 18g, Fiber 3g, Sugars 0g, Protein 6g
*A note on farro: Farro is an ancient grain that originated in Egypt but is most closely associated with Italian cooking. Dried farro can be found in quality supermarkets in the aisle featuring rice, barley, and cous cous. The type of farro most commonly sold in the United States is farro medio, made from a grain called emmer. This nutty tasting grain is best cooked al dente and can be eaten in soups, salads, or on its own as a side dish.