Hearty farro salad with grilled summer squash and kale is a perfect lunch or vegetarian dinner.
Well hello summer! Hopefully the erratic weather New Jersey saw in the Spring is behind us and there’s nothing but sunny skies ahead. Perfect weather for barbecuing ribs, nibbling on lobster rolls, and putting the season’s produce to good use, like this farro salad with grilled summer squash and kale. Green salads are awesome, no doubt about that, but I like a hearty salad with grains or beans. Low in fat but makes you feel full without a lot of meat.
But before we get to the salad, this is how summer started:
My tiny Chef Nutmeg graduated preschool last night. Pretty stinking cute, huh? Aside from the fact that this little one is growing up way too fast, this means no more daycare and a single dropoff and pickup for me! The girls start summer camp next week and they are beyond excited to swim every day and reunite with some old friends.
Now that we have allowed me a proud mommy moment, back to the salad. It was, of course, inspired by my fabulous CSA. Last week I got yellow squash and this week I got zucchini. I also have a bunch of lacinato kale that I’ve been picking away at and it was a perfect addition to this salad. In the fall, I’ll probably swap the squash for some fresh apples and use goat cheese instead of Parm… but I’m getting ahead of myself. Farro is an amazing grain, easy to cook, healthy and it fills you up. Here I cooked it in apple juice and water but I’ve also used stock. Go with what you’ve got. And this is one you can definitely make a day ahead and pack for lunch. The kale will hold up for a day or two, even with the dressing.
- ½ cup farro
- ½ cup apple juice
- 1 cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small yellow squash
- 1 small zucchini
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup shredded kale, preferably lacinato
- A few fresh basil leaves, torn
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- Parmesan cheese
- To cook the farro, combine the farro, apple juice, water and bay leaves in a small saucepan and season with salt. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until farro is tender. If all of the liquid evaporates before the farro is tender, add a little more.
- Preheat grill over high heat.
- Halve the squash and zucchini lengthwise and season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil.
- Grill squash and zucchini until tender, about 4 minutes per side.
- Remove and allow to cool.
- When cool enough to handle, cube the squash and zucchini. Set aside.
- Toast the walnuts in a small pan until fragrant.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked farro, squash, zucchini, walnuts, kale and basil. Drizzle with a little olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve topped with shaved Parmesan cheese.