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September 2019

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Kale and Farro Salad with Bacon

Written by , Posted in Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fruit, Grains, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Pork, Quick and Easy, Salads, Vegetables

I have eighteen kale plants in my garden. That’s a lot for a family where only one of us likes kale. I’ve got everything from huge three foot wide plants, to a couple that I transplanted later in the season that are still pretty small. It was definitely the most successful thing I planted this summer.

I have plenty of uses for kale on here. Some of my favorites are: Massaged Kale and Tuna Salad, Hearty Kale and White Bean Quesadillas, and turning it into pesto to go alongside Spicy Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes. I prefer it when it’s smaller, tender, baby kale. Tim, I believe, prefers it when it’s not served at all.

Today, I’m craving bacon, but feel a bit guilty about how much kale I have grown and not eaten. So, I’m gonna use them together. They’ll go alongside farro and some apples from our tree to make a quick lunch.

The dog is reverse hiccuping. Anyone else have a dog that does this? It freaks me out, even though our vet says it’s not dangerous.

I got advice for farro cooking from Bon App├Ętit. Their technique treats it like pasta. I can do that. I started with six cups of water, added a good amount of salt, and brought it to a boil. I toasted the farro in a dry skillet while the water heated. It ended up taking five minutes. Oh, and I rinsed the farro, before I toasted it (just gonna work backwards for a sec). I’m not sure if I was supposed to. But, I think that’s a thing with other grains, so I did it. I’m quite the authority on food.

I may not know a lot about farro, but when it comes to bacon, I know what I like: Mazzeo’s Danish bacon, cut pretty thick. Prefect for BLTs or cutting into lardons, like I did today. I totally didn’t cook enough though. I made two slices. I should have done six. What even was I thinking?!

I cooked the bacon and left about a tablespoon of the grease for the kale. I know that kale will wilt down considerably, but still I second guess myself when I add the whole salad spinner’s worth of kale to the pan. It will work. Right?!

Yes. It will.

Here’s what I like about this salad: the kale is bitter. Wait, I don’t like that. But, bitter kale, when accompanied by sweet apples, nutty farro, and salty, crispy bacon, mellows. And then I do like it.

If I’m honest, I mostly just want to eat the bacon. But, the rest of it is pretty good too. Ok, really good.

Top it all with Sir Kensington’s Golden Citrus Vinaigrette and, well, you’re golden… (are puns still allowed?). If you can get your hands on Sir Kensington’s products, I’d strongly recommend them. If you can’t, I’d whisk together some lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. I’d add a splash of maple syrup, a plomp of dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt. That’s my go-to dressing and I think it would taste great here too.

Sometimes after I eat a meal like this I feel so healthy that it makes me want to eat a huge pizza. You know, for balance.

Happy Eating!

Kale and Farro Salad with Bacon

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 C rinsed farro
  • 6 C water
  • 1-2 T salt
  • 2-4 bacon slices, cut into lardons
  • 6-8 C kale, stems removed, leaves washed and torn
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 C Sir Kensington’s Golden Citrus Vinaigrette
  • (Or whisk together some lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. Add a splash of maple syrup, a plomp of dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt.)
  • 1 chopped apple, for topping

Directions

  1. Bring the 6 cups of water and 1-2 tablespoons salt to a boil. While it’s heating, toast the farro in a dry skillet until it gets a bit nutty smelling, about 3-5 minutes. Add the farro to the boiling water and cook until it tastes good, about 15-30 minutes (yeah, it can vary a lot – for me, 15 minutes was perfect). Drain the farro and set it aside.
  2. While the farro cooks, cook the bacon. Then drain on a paper towel lined plate. Reserve 1 T of the bacon grease and leave it in the pan.
  3. To the grease add the kale and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss it until it wilts down (it will, I promise) and gets darker green and tender.
  4. Toss the kale with the farro and 1/4 cup of dressing. Top with bacon and apple slices.