Foodist Approved: Kale + Radicchio Superhero Salad with Farro

by | Sep 4, 2013
Kale and Farro Superhero Salad

Kale and Farro Superhero Salad

Elyse Kopecky is a social media consultant and whole foods chef based in Portland, OR. After 10 years working for NIKE and EA SPORTS she left her desk job for the chance to study culinary nutrition at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC. Follow her adventures in the kitchen and on the trail at and @freshabits.

Foodist Approved: Kale + Radicchio Superhero Salad with Farro

by Elyse Kopecky

The flavors of this salad combined with the al dente texture of the farro make for a salad reminiscent of a bowl of fresh pasta tossed in olive oil, garlic and lemon.

Do you find yourself making the same salad night after night? Let me guess (and I speak to you now from my own past habits), does it include baby spinach, tomatoes, carrots, and maybe a few sugar-loaded dried cranberries, plus a drizzle of store-bought dressing (also sugar-loaded)? No wonder you aren’t excited to eat it.

Enter kale salads. If you’ve dined out recently you’ve probably noticed that kale salads are making appearances everywhere, from pizza joints to upscale farm-to-table restaurants. Thanks to some top chefs kale has recently gained celebrity status, and for good reason. Kale works great in a variety of dishes and is especially delicious in salads. I don’t feel the least bit sorry for spinach losing some of the limelight.

Ready to up your salad repertoire? You won’t be disappointed by my recipe for Kale + Radicchio Superhero Salad with farro, walnuts and Parmesan all tossed in a lemon garlic dressing. I aptly named this dish Superhero Salad because it incorporates a range of my favorite nutrient-dense ingredients for strength and energy. And don’t frown at the parmesan cheese. Yes, hard cheeses are healthy.

If Popeye ate spinach, then Batman and Wonder Woman ate bowls and bowls of kale salad.


Note: Recipe requires prep in advance. I recommend cooking the farro and marinating the kale the night before.

Recipe for Kale + Radicchio Superhero Salad with Farro

Yield: Makes 8 servings.

  • 1 large bunch kale; rinse, dry, remove stems
  • 1 small head radicchio; rinse, remove outer leaf and core

Grains / Breads
  • 1 ½ c. farro (or other favorite whole grain)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt

Other Ingredients
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ c. lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1 tsp miso paste, white or yellow
  • ¼ c. + 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ¾ c. grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ c. raw walnuts, chopped

Combine the farro in a medium saucepan with the water and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered until the farro is tender, 20 – 45 minutes. Cooking time depends on if you are using pearled farro or whole farro. I prefer whole farro and am patient with the 45 minutes. It’s hard to overcook farro.

Drain farro and transfer to a large bowl to cool. Once cool, cover and refrigerate.

Chop the kale into bite size pieces. Place the kale in a large salad bowl.

Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, miso, ¼ cup olive oil, ground pepper and salt. Pour this dressing over the kale. With clean hands massage the dressing into the kale.*

Chop the radicchio and toss into the salad along with ½ cup parmesan, walnuts and farro. Taste and drizzle with additional olive oil or salt if needed.

Cover and chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Top with remaining Parmesan prior to serving.

*Yes, massaging the kale salad is just what it sounds like. You get to use your hands to work the dressing into the leaves. Kale is a fibrous vegetable, but massaging it with an acidic dressing helps to break down the kale to make it more digestible.

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22 Responses to “Foodist Approved: Kale + Radicchio Superhero Salad with Farro”

  1. Carly says:

    Tasted this, love this and now making this!!

  2. Rachel says:

    Looks delish! I’m obsessed with farro lately.

  3. Laurence says:

    On my way to the market to get the ingredients. Can’t wait to try it!

  4. Ris says:

    This does sound very tasty. Adding some shrimp sauteed in olive oil, lemon, and garlic might make it a more substantial meal, though I’ve never tried farro, so maybe that’s filling enough on its own… anyone have any thoughts on this? Either way, I’m making it!

  5. Ashlie says:

    This sounds delicious! Can’t wait to make this for my family in the near future.

  6. Sarah says:

    Will the salad keep overnight (or longer) if dressed? I’m looking for easy & healthy options for at-work lunch. Will I have to massage/assemble just before eating?

    • Hi Sarah,
      YES! I’ve been eating this salad all week and it’s my new favorite healthy lunch. I made a big batch on Sunday and it’s still good. I love it with a hard boiled or poached egg to make it a complete meal.

      • lyndamac says:

        What about onions? I luv the ingredients, but notice that raw onions are rarely present. I luv raw onions and can not imagine a salad without them!

  7. Jessa Lyders says:

    YUUUUMMM!!! So good. Love love love!!!

  8. Just when I thought, we had gotten as much kale as one garden can produce, more has grown so this is a perfect recipe to make with one of my favorite leafy greens!

  9. Todd says:

    Looks good. Love Kale and have been looking for new dishes to use it in. Thanks!

  10. Rick Miles says:

    This looks epic – I’m on a fairly strict diet focused on adding calordies but I’m sure I could fit this in as a meal on the weekend. Thanks for making me hip to it!

  11. Emma says:

    Perfect for me as a vegetarian! The salad is looking so fresh and fulfilling. Can’t wait to try it!

  12. Anne says:

    Sounds delicious. I have high blood pressure and am on a reduced sodium schedule. Between the salt and the miso, which one should I eliminate? The miso I have consumed is very salty. Maybe there is a brand that is lower in sodium.

    • Darya Rose says:

      Miso is healthier than plain salt because it is fermented. The best way to reduce blood pressure is to eat lots of veggies (potassium balances out sodium), avoid all processed foods (fructose makes effects of sodium worse), and get tons of exercise (strengthens cardiovascular system).

  13. Alissa says:

    I know this is an older post, but I just wanted to tell you how obsessed I have become with this salad! It is now a staple dish in my house and I just love it. Thank you for sharing it!

  14. Tessa says:

    Are there any substitutes for miso paste? I can’t find this ingredient at my local store!

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