Farro Salad with Roasted Grapes and Lacinato Kale

// When it comes to the Thanksgiving meal and its dishes, the members of my family are traditionalists who just tweak old recipes. The menu is like many others: turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, pie, store-bought Hawaiian rolls (who are we kidding, we all love these), and an abundance of gravy.  

To prepare for this year, I did more than just fancy up a classic, I decided to implement a whole new dish with this salad. Farro is a common Italian grain that is acclaimed for its nutty flavors and chewy texture.  Its hearty, delicious, and can stand against any super grain in the nutrition department.  Coupled with the plump, roasted grapes that simply burst in your mouth, and the earthy, sweet lacinato kale, this salad is a winner and a beauty on any holiday table.

Farro Salad with Roasted Grapes and Lacinato Kale

Serves 8

1 cup of uncooked farro

Salt and pepper

Handful of fresh herbs

Variety of whole spices, cinnamon stick, cloves, etc.

3 cloves of garlic

1 pound of any type of seedless grapes

¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 medium red onion, sliced into thin rounds

2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

3 cups of lacinato kale, chopped

½ cup of crumbled feta

½ cup of walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium saucepan add 6 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of salt, fresh herbs, spices, and garlic.  Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, spread farro out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes.  When browned and fragrant, remove from oven and add to boiling water.  Cook until al dente, or your desired texture, around 25 minutes. When finished, drain and discard aromatics.  Place into a large bowl.

While the farro is cooking, turn oven up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Combine grapes, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper on a baking sheet.  On a separate baking sheet add sliced red onions and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil on each side.  Place both sheets in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, flipping onions every 15 minutes.

Add roasted grapes and onions to farro.  Toss with remaining olive oil and red wine vinegar.

Just before serving, place kale on a platter, add farro mixture on top, and finish with walnuts and feta.