Make-Ahead Lunch Recipe: Chopped Kale, Farro & Chickpea Salad

Recipes from The Kitchn

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This six-ingredient salad right here has been my lunch for the past week — and it's looking highly likely that I will have it again next week! Made with a simple lemon-miso vinaigrette, this combination of tender kale, chewy farro, and nutty chickpeas holds up very well for several days in the fridge. All I have to do come lunchtime is scoop a portion into a bowl. With some orange segments and a slice of toast on the side, this easy lunch keeps me happy all afternoon.

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I have a bit of a sweetheart crush on farro right now. It's just as satisfyingly chewy as barley (another favorite grain), but with a sweet toasted flavor that I love. It makes a perfect companion to the hearty, slightly bitter leaves of kale and the soft chickpeas in this salad. 

When eating this salad for light lunch or dinner, I like to round out the meal with some fruit and a a handful of nuts on the side. This salad is vegan as it is now, but a sprinkle of feta or other cheese would definitely not be out of place. For an even more substantial dish, top the salad with a poached egg. So good. This recipe also makes a terrific side salad to go with dinner — something a little different than a tossed lettuce salad but not quite so heavy as a grain salad. 

Lunch or dinner, main dish or side dish, this kale salad is a keeper. Make a big batch tonight and look forward to easy meals all week long.

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Chopped Kale, Farro & Chickpea Salad

Serves 4-6

1/2 cup farro
1 bunch (about 10 ounces) Tuscan, dino, or lacinato kale
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red miso paste
2 teaspoons lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the farro, and stir. Turn the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes, until the farro is chewy and tender. Drain the farro from the excess liquid and set aside.

Wash and dry the kale leaves. Stack several leaves on top of each other and slice off the few inches of tough, fibrous stem from the bottoms. If desired, slice out the ribs (though I like the crunch these ribs add to the salad). Roughly chop the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces. Repeat stacking and slicing the remaining leaves of kale.

Transfer the chopped kale to a big mixing bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, miso paste, and lemon juice. Pour over the kale leaves. Use your hands to work the dressing into the kale leaves. Continue massaging the leaves until the kale has softened and feels silky, 1-2 minutes.

Pour the farro and the drained chickpeas over the kale and toss to combine. Taste and add a sprinkle of salt or another squeeze of lemon if desired.

Salad will keep in a covered container in the fridge for several days.

Recipe Notes

  • To round out this salad for lunch or dinner, add a poached egg, a handful of nuts, or a chopped apple.

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(Images: Emma Christensen)

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