Kale, Chicken, and Farro Salad

by Ginny on June 22, 2011

Post image for Kale, Chicken, and Farro Salad

A while back I posted a recipe for Kale Pesto, singing the praises of this most potent superfood. Well, here’s another great way to bring more of this green goodness to your table. This salad is so good you won’t care how healthy it is, but just so you know, it is SUPER healthy. Lean protein, raw greens, raw garlic, and one of the most delicious whole grains I’ve come across– farro– will put some git in your giddyup for sure.  

Farro is a type of hulled wheat, eaten in Italy since the days of the early Romans, and now making a welcome comeback. Farro’s chewy texture, nutty and mildly sweet flavor add a lot more to dishes than whole grain bulk. I first tasted it at an organic restaurant called Dandelion in Seattle, simply dressed with olive oil and meyer lemon. It was love at first bite and I’ve been keeping an eye out for it ever since. It took a while, but it is finally showing up on more and more market shelves. I found some in the bulk food section of our local health food store, and have noticed it in gourmet shops. If you can’t find it, barley makes a solid substitute, or you can order it direct from the “Ingredients” category of the SDR Store.

I used curly green kale, but any type will do here. A short soak in a light dressing helps make it tender, and the great thing about the heartiness of kale is that the greens will hold up for at least a couple days, even once they’re dressed.

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Recipe : Kale, Chicken, and Farro Salad

The flavors of this salad really pop when it’s eaten still warm or room temp., but it also keeps well and makes great leftovers when served chilled the next day.


  • 3/4 cup dried farro (or substitute barley, and cook according to package instructions)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • pinch salt

For the Greens:

  • 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small lemon, juice only
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 bunch kale

For the Chicken:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 3 small breasts)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 2 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (I recommend using 1/4 teaspoon if you’re using feta, 1/2 teaspoon if you’re using fresh goat cheese)
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • crumbled feta or fresh goat cheese, for garnish

1. In a medium sauce pan with a tight fitting lid combine farro, water, and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Set aside. 

2. For the greens: Combine first 5 ingredients in a large salad bowl and whisk to combine. Wash kale, shake dry, and remove leaves from thick stems. Discard stems, and chop leaves into small bits. Toss with the ingredients already in the salad bowl. Set aside.

3. For the chicken: In a medium mixing bowl combine garlic, lemon juice, rosemary, mint, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Dice chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes and toss with mixture. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high to high heat, and add chicken mixture. Saute until cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes.

4. Add the chicken and any accumulated pan juices to the kale. Add cooked farro (or barley) and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve warm, room temp, or chilled, and top with crumbled feta or goat cheese.

Serves 3 to 4 as an entree

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan July 8, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Hi Ginny

I’ve been checking out your blog for quite a while now — I love it!

Just tried this recipe, and it ROCKS! A perfect meal-in-one-dish, and oh so healthy!

Susan in Juneau


Ginny July 10, 2011 at 7:54 am

Hi Susan! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe. Thanks for the feedback, the nice comment, and for visiting SDR. I hope to see you back again soon : ) Give my regards to Juneau.


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