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Warm Citrusy Delicata Kale & Farro Salad

Craving something light and healthy, yet satisfying? Get the recipe for this citrusy delicata and kale farro salad featuring winter’s most beautiful in-season produce – blood oranges!

Citrusy Kale & Farro Warm Salad // FitLiving #recipe #plantbased #healthy

Have you ever gotten so excited in a grocery store that you end up buying multiples of something? No, just me? The other day while I was shopping at Whole Foods, I got a little carried away. I was being so diligent in following my own tips for saving money at Whole Foods that I headed directly to the bulk bin section. I loaded up on all sorts of grains that I use regularly in the kitchen such as quinoa, millet (I’ve actually never cooked with this one, but was excited to expirement!) and oats.

Then, as I was browsing the aisles, I saw that Nature’s Earthly Choice grains were on sale, so I bought a few. Yep. I guess I had forgotten about my little trip to the bulk bin aisle just a few minutes ago. When I got home and unloaded my grocery bags, I realized I had gotten six different packages of grains! Hey, at least they will last a while in the pantry, right?

This is when my idea for this citrusy delicata kale and farro salad was born. I have been eating a lot of cold salads lately and was craving something warm that was still light and healthy. So, I decided I would put my grain splurge to good use and make a warm salad! I decided to go with farro in this dish because of it’s slightly nutty taste and chewy texture. I also knew that I wanted blood oranges to be the feature of this recipe because I just can’t get enough of citrus right now and they are so gorgeous!

Betcha know what’s coming next…

Nutritional Spotlight: Farro

Today, I want to focus on farro, because you might not yet know about the goodness of this grain. I certainly didn’t until a few months ago when I starting incorporating different kinds of grains into our meals.

kale and farro salad ingredients

Farro is an ancient grain that is similar in texture to rice. Did you know that farro is often sold in two different varieties? There is whole farro which requires overnight soaking and a longer cooking time, and there is semi-pearled farro, meaning part of the bran has been removed, but allows for quicker cooking time. Although whole farro retains the most amount of nutrients, semi-pearled farro comes in for a close second and in my opinion, is the better option when looking for an easy-to-cook grain that is still full of healthy nutrients.

Here are the top three nutritional benefits I love about this grain:

  • It’s packed with protein. One serving of semi-pearled farro contains 7 grams of protein, making it a great choice for those who are looking to add more plant-based foods into their diet.
  • It’s full of dietary fiber. One serving of farro contains 7 grams of dietary fiber, which means this stuff will keep you full for the long haul. It is recommended that women get at least 25 grams of fiber daily, meaning one serving of farro gets you a fourth of the way to meeting your daily quota!
  • It’s a great source of antioxidants. While we often associate fruits and vegetables with antioxidants, unprocessed grains are also a great source of these longevity-promoting nutrients. Farro is rich in a particular antioxidant called “lignans” which is known to reduce inflammation in the body.

It is very similar in nutritional profile to it’s grain cousin, quinoa, but it is important to note that farro is not gluten-free. If you gluten intolerant or sensitive, you could easily substitute quinoa for farro in this recipe and it would be just as delicious!

Warm Citrusy Delicata & Kale Farro Salad

There are three main components to this recipe and we will tackle each one individually. But don’t worry, this dish will be ready and on the table in no time!

To roast the squash: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Cut the ends off the delicata squash and slice into 1″ thick rounds. Scrape the seeds out with your finger or a spoon. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, or until fork tender.

roasted delicata squash

Cook the farro. While the squash is roasting, cook the farro. Combine farro, vegetable broth and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the farro is slightly chewy.

While the farro is cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and minced garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add one bunch of chopped kale (I used Tuscan/dino kale) to the pan and saute until just wilted. About 3-4 minutes.

blood orange vinaigrette

Make the blood orange vinaigrette. In a mason jar, combine the blood orange juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and put the lid on. Shake vigorously until the vinaigrette is mixed thoroughly. (The recipe makes more than you will need for this dish. Store in the fridge for up to a week and pour on leftovers, salads, or grain bowls!)

citrusy delicata kale and farro salad

To serve, toss the farro, kale and ¼ cup of the dressing together. Add the blood orange segments, sliced almonds and feta cheese and lightly toss to combine. Place the squash rounds on a plate and top with the kale and farro salad mixture. Enjoy!

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Warm Citrusy Delicata Kale & Farro Salad


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 delicata squash
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup semi-pearled farro
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth and water
  • 1 bunch Tuscan (dino) kale
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 blood oranges, cut into half rounds
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup Feta
  • salt and pepper
  • Blood Orange Vinaigrette
  • 1/3 cup Blood orange juice (about 2 oranges)
  • 1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Cut the ends off the delicata squash slice into 1” thick rounds. Scoop the seeds out of the middle with your finger or a spoon. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 Tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, or until fork tender.
  2. While the squash is roasting, cook the farro. Combine the farro, vegetable broth and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the farro is slightly chewy.
  3. While the farro is cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil and minced garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chopped kale to the pan and saute until just wilted. About 3-4 minutes.
  4. To make the blood orange vinaigrette, combine the blood orange juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a mason jar. Shake vigorously until the vinaigrette is mixed thoroughly.*
  5. To serve, toss the farro, kale and 1/4 cup of the dressing together. Add the blood orange segments, sliced almonds and feta cheese and lightly toss to combine. Place the squash rounds on a plate and top with the kale and farro salad mixture. Enjoy!

Notes

The blood orange vinaigrette will make more than you need for this recipe. Dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to a week!

What is your go to comfort meal? Have you ever cooked with farro? Share with me in the comments below!

-Carly Paige

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31 Responses

  1. I have to print this. My husband has been asking for farro. I’ve only made it once a million years ago. Sooo, I’m giving this one a go. Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

  2. This salad looks gorgeous and sounds absolutely delicious! I am bookmarking this recipe for a later date, yum!

  3. This is one gorgeous salad! I love the bulk food section at Whole Foods too 🙂 I like the prices, and I like that the packaging is not an issue. Did you know you can bring your own containers to fill? Just bring them to the costumer service desk, and they’ll weigh them so that when you go to pay for the bulk foods they will subtract the weight of your container. I love farro as well, and this warm salad looks like a filling and healthy option. I can’t wait to try it!

  4. Salad makes me feel healthy and happy, I’d like to try this and I’m sure friends would also love it.

Hi! I’m Carly Paige, a culinary nutrition expert and chef who believes that healthy doesn’t have to be frustrating, boring or restrictive. I’m here to show you how through my Simply Swapped Method so that you can feel more energized and confident from within. You’ll find tips for focusing on nutrition in the kitchen, along with plant-powered, gluten-free recipes that proves healthy can be delicious.

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