Farro and Kale Salad with Goat Cheese

Another salad with kale? Yep. I keep eating this one nonstop. It is loaded with tangy crumbled goat cheese, chewy cooked whole grains, tender massaged kale, toasted almonds, and dried cherries. The vinaigrette, which unifies everything and is purposefully zingy, is used.

This salad has a striking resemblance to the winter farro salad at French Market, one of my favorite salads in Kansas City. It’s a quaint location with delicious pastries, crêpes, and salads you can grab and go. The counter woman usually has a great French accent. On our way out of town, we frequently stop there for some wholesome road food.

They have a fantastic farro salad, which I have grown to love. I figured I’d better make a homemade version because it’s marked “winter” before it’s too late. This is it!

On your Easter dinner, this salad would make a lovely, substantial vegetarian choice. It also travels well for springtime picnics and office lunches. Be careful; once you start eating it, it’s difficult to quit.

Notes & Tips for Salad

Whether you buy pearled, semi-pearled, or whole farro, cooking times will vary. If you’re unsure which one you have, check the cook time on the label or simply check the farro periodically after around 15 minutes to see if it’s finished.

Work on the remaining elements while the farro cooks (whisk together the dressing, toast the almonds, chop the dried cherries, and massage the kale).
I did just say to massage the kale. Two things can be accomplished by salting the chopped kale lightly and continuously scrunching it in your hands to produce darker greens. The kale tastes less bitter and “raw” as a result, for one. Two, it greatly improves the kale’s texture and eating experience.

As the nuts toast in the skillet, keep an eye on them and stir frequently. They can easily go from golden brown to burned. Don’t overlook this step; freshly toasted nuts offer gobs of delicious flavor and an extra-crisp texture.

After draining the cooked farro, combine it with the vinaigrette and dried cherries while it’s still warm. Some of the excellent vinaigrette taste will be absorbed by the farro, and the warmth will mellow the garlic. The warmth and moisture will also aid in slightly plumping up the cherries.
Finally, add the goat cheese and toss the farro into the kale only after it has nearly entirely cooled. Otherwise, your salad won’t be as attractive because the goat cheese will melt. The salad can marinate in the fridge for a few hours or be served right away.

Also read: Strawberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Salad with Balsamic Drizzle



  • Farro, 1 cup, washed; 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 large bunch of rib-free, curly green kale, cut into small, bite-sized pieces.
  • 12 cup sliced raw almonds
  • 13 cup rough-cut dried cranberries or cherries
  • goat cheese, crumbled, 4 ounces


  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1/3 cup
  • red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1/9 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 minced or pressed garlic cloves
  • 14 teaspoon of sea salt, fine


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed farro and at least three cups water to cook the farro (enough water to cover the farro by a couple of inches). Salt the water, then bring it to a boil before turning down the heat to maintain a medium simmer. Cook the farro until it is bite-sized but still satisfyingly chewy. (Farro without processing will take 25 to 40 minutes; pearled farro will take about 15 minutes.) Drain the extra water, then set it aside.
  2. Place the chopped kale in a sizable serving bowl while you wait. Add a few dashes of salt, then crumple up big handfuls of it at a time with your hands to make it darker and more aromatic (this makes the kale taste less bitter and makes it easier to eat). Place aside.
  3. Pour the almonds into a small skillet and toast them. Cook the almonds for 4 to 5 minutes, turning often over medium heat (be careful, they might burn), or until aromatic and beginning to turn golden on the edges. Add the almonds to the bowl of kale that has been massaged.
    Simply whisk the ingredients in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl to make the vinaigrette. Place aside.
  4. After the farro has been cooked and drained, combine it with the vinaigrette and chopped dried cherries so they can slightly swell (the heat will temper the garlic a bit).
  5. Once the farro has cooled down to room temperature or close to it, incorporate it into the kale mixture. Gently crumble most of the goat cheese into the salad and lightly toss. Taste, and if the salad doesn’t taste wonderful yet, toss in additional vinegar by the teaspoon until it does.
  6. Crumble the leftover goat cheese on top of the salad. Serve directly, or refrigerate for later. This salad keeps nicely for four to five days in the refrigerator, covered.