A nutty grain salad made with farro, black rice, kale, and pine nuts
Suzanne Goin featured a version of this recipe in her A.O.C. Cookbook and said it was one of her favorite and most-craved foods, which immediately had me intrigued. It's a warm grain salad that's a mix of chewy farro and black rice, lightly-cooked kale, and toasted pine nuts. Once the grains are cooked separately, they stir-fry in a hot skillet with some seasoning, which really intensified their flavor and brings out a nuttiness. Thin ribbons of kale and toasted nuts are folded in at the last minute and mix with the grains for perfectly composed bites. Because the farro and black rice are less refined than most grains, the dish really fills you up for a long time. Feel free to experiment with different add ins like dried or fresh fruit, crumbled cheese, roasted vegetables, or different kinds of greens.
Note: The recipe looks long but it actually comes together quite quickly. Most of the steps are for cooking the farro and rice separately, which can be done a few days in advance.
- Farro Salad with Tomatoes, Asparagus, & Feta
- Coconut Basmati Rice
- Couscous with Preserved Lemons & Pine Nuts
Farro & Black Rice with Kale & Pinenuts:
- Add 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 minced onion, 1 thinly sliced chile de arbol, and 1 sprig of rosemary to a pot over medium-high heat.
- Cook the onion for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent, then add in 3/4 c. of black rice.*
- Toast the rice for a minute or two, then add in 1/4 c. white wine and cook for a minute, or until it is reduced by half.
- Add in 1 1/2 c. of water and a large pinch of salt.
- Bring the water to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 30-35 minutes, or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
- Spread the rice out on a large baking sheet to cool.
- Meanwhile, heat another 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 minced onion, chile de arbol, and rosemary in a different pot over medium-high heat.
- Cook the onion for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent, then add in 1 1/2 c. of farro.
- Toast the farro for a minute or two, then add in 6 c. of water and a large pinch of salt and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until farro is al dente.
- Drain the farro and then spread out on a large baking sheet to cool.
- Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil and 1 thinly sliced chile de arbol in a large skillet over high heat.
- Add in the cooled farro and cook, stirring a few times, for 5 minutes, or until the farro has toasted and stir-fried.
- Add in the cooled black rice and 1 bunch of de-stemmed, thinly sliced kale.
- Stir until the kale has wilted and rice is warm, about 2 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir in 1/4 c. of toasted pine nuts** and the juice of 1/4 lemon.
- Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
Serves four-six (side dish)
*Found at some high end grocery stores, such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.
**To toast nuts, add to a hot skillet for 3-5 minutes, or until the nuts turn lightly golden.