Farro and Kale Salad with a Sage Browned Butter Vinaigrette

farro, kale, pomegranates, squash, bowl

Everyone need a perfect fall salad and I think this is it! Farro is one of my favorite grains with its chewy texture and mild taste, some might even compare it to barley. I love adding it to salads, especially those that don’t contain protein, because farro provides protein, whole grains and lots of fiber. We all need that in our diet.

I also am a fan of kale and though I know some aren’t, there are ways to make it more likeable. For starters one can buy baby kale, but I buy bagged kale and chop it finely. Some say to massage the dressing into the kale but I find if it is fine enough there is no need. One advantage of using kale in salads is that leftover salad doesn’t wilt. In other words the salad keeps overnight, even if previously tossed with dressing.

farro, salad, pomegranate seeds


Squash is one of my fall favorites so I added some steamed squash to give this salad some sweet goodness. One of my favorite tricks to cook squash simply is to slice it lengthwise down the middle, scoop out the seeds, flip it over onto a lined baking sheet and pop it into an oven set to 375. Cook until you can easily stick a fork into it.

But my favorite part of this amazing fall salad is the vinaigrette. Most of us, me included, think of vinaigrette’s as containing oil. Yes, most do, but in this case I subbed in browned butter which makes this delectable indeed.  And of course adding fresh sage leaves to the browned butter and frying them crisp makes me want to just spoon said butter right into my mouth! I love this sagey, sweet, rich vinaigrette and can’t wait to use it directly on other roasted vegetables.

This salad belongs to cool fall nights.  Topped with pomegranate seeds or even cranberries, some smoked almonds and yes, the sage flavored butter; well this fall salad is dressed to impress. I accessorized with some Toscano black pepper cheese, but feel free to use your favorite. Add in some grilled chicken or yes…some crisp bacon if you must, but either way this salad surely will be the most popular one on the runway!

Farro and kale salad with pomegranates.squash

Farro and Kale Salad with a Sage Browned Butter Vinaigrette
Serves 2-4 Depending on if using as a main or side dish
Time To Make: About 30 minutes
4 T butter
20 sage leaves approximately
1 T balsamic or sherry vinegar
2 T stone ground mustard
1 T maple syrup
2 T finely chopped shallots
Salt and fresh pepper to taste
4 c finely chopped kale
1 c cooked farro (according to package instructions; I cook mine in chicken broth)
3/4 c roasted or steamed squash
1/4 c chopped smoked almonds
2 oz grated cheese
Handful of pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries
Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. When it is melted add in sage leaves. Butter will sputter and foam as it turns golden brown. Watch as it turns golden, as you don’t want this to burn. Yes, the milk solids will settle to the bottom of the pan and that is OK. Also carefully watch your sage leaves. They cook quickly and you don’t want those to burn either. I also flip them to crisp both sides. Take them out as cooked and sprinkle with salt. (These are a delectable snack!) Set aside.

Pour butter into a measuring cup and whisk in vinegar, mustard and maple syrup. Stir in shallots and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Combine kale, farro and squash and toss well. Add vinaigrette and toss salad. (I only used 1/2 of the vinaigrette, but that is up to you.) Garnish with almonds, cheese, pomegranate seeds or cranberries and finally your delicious fried sage leaves.  Serve on a cool fall night!

Others to try:
Farro Summer Salad                  Browned Butter Squash             Red Wine Chicken with Pumpkin

Please Pin and Share:
Farro and kale salad with browned butter vinaigrette is a hearty salad topped with a rich dressing. Lovely to serve in the fall, this would also be great any time of year.#farro #vinaigrette #salad www.thisishowicook.com


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  • Laura Dembowski
    November 8, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Kale salad is one of my favorite meals on earth. I often add quinoa or millet to keep it gluten free but farro is totally a great option.

  • Balvinder Ubi
    November 8, 2016 at 4:00 am

    Definitely, a great fall salad with addition of hearty kale, and the dressing sound so good! Such great flavors!

  • Tricia Buice
    November 5, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    So pretty and colorful and I love the bowl too! Beautiful presentation and the dressing sounds lovely

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 7, 2016 at 4:16 am

      Thanks Tricia. That bowl has been in hiding awhile. I have a platter, too!

  • Karen Harris
    November 5, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Looks beautiful and delicious. I will definitely be making this.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 7, 2016 at 4:16 am

      Thanks Karen! Who doesn't like browned butter?

  • Liz Berg
    November 5, 2016 at 12:09 am

    The family is heading up to Green Bay to watch the Packers play the Colts this weekend. A big salad is on my menu—and one with farro and kale would be A-OK with me!!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 7, 2016 at 4:16 am

      Get it while you can is my motto! Have a great weekend!

  • Kitchen Riffs
    November 4, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Yup, I find that unless kale is really, really mature, just chopping it finely is enough — no massaging really necessary. Kale is wonderful in salad and, at this time of the year, soup. Lotta neat flavors going on in this! So nice — thanks.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 7, 2016 at 4:15 am

      Thanks John! You would like it!

  • Cheri Savory Spoon
    November 4, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    Hi Abbe, what a gorgeous salad, love all the colors, flavors and texture. The bowl is beautiful too. Winner!! Winner!!

  • La Table De Nana
    November 4, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    PS love the big bowl.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 7, 2016 at 4:15 am

      The funny thing is that if you could see the bottome, it has a big fish on it!

  • La Table De Nana
    November 4, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    I know I would love this..i bought my first farro in Castelluccio Italy..and have never looked back..
    I almost have to massage my kale..and no stems..unless they are very well blanched..I like the Trader Joe's one..bagged:)
    Thanks for the recipe..love the colrs and the dressing sounds perfect!
    Doesn't everything look beautiful with pom arils?:)

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 7, 2016 at 4:14 am

      I like Trader Joe's, too! No stems. I so agree!

  • Chris Scheuer
    November 4, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Looks like a delicious and very healthy salad, a winning combination for sure! I think pomegranates make everything look even prettier!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 7, 2016 at 4:14 am

      Thanks Chris! Yes it is a great combo!

  • Angie Schneider
    November 4, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    I enjoy a good wholegrain salad too, this looks so beautiful and nutritious, Abbe. That dressing sounds really intriguing too.