This recipe is inspired (with a few improvements) by a recipe from Shape Magazine I had found a few years ago. As I read the recipe, I could feel myself salivating at the combination of flavors, textures and colors it offered. It’s a brilliant combination, and I give full credit to whomever came up with this idea…
As if I needed another reason to try it, all ingredients are on top of the list of “must eat” healthy ingredients: dark leafy greens (kale), dark colored vegetables (beet), whole grains (farro), nuts (walnut), mushrooms, shallots, low-fat cheese (feta), olive oil… how much more nutrition can you pack into a single dish?
Now, close your eyes and imagine taking a bite of a hearty grassy leaf of kale, nutty chewy farro grain, sweet and sour beet, crunchy buttery walnut and creamy salty cheese… top all that with a touch of sweet tangy balsamic vinegar and silky fruity olive oil… Wow! Need I say more…
I use roasted beets for this recipe. I generally buy a bunch of beets at the store, cut the stems off and wash them, wrap them individually in aluminum foil, place them on a baking sheet and roast them at 375 deg F for an hour. They keep very well in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. I leave them in the foil and take them out and peel them as needed.
Once you get the gist of this recipe, you can experiment with different combinations of greens / grains / nuts, or substitute shredded carrots instead of beets, your imagination is the limit!
It may sound like there are a lot of steps to this recipe, but it’s really easy and comes together quickly… Try it and see for yourself!
Kale, mushrooms, farro and beets
- In a 2-1/2 qt saucepan, bring farro, 1/2 teaspoon salt and water to a boil. Reduce heat and cook according to package directions (20 min).
- Shred cooked beet into a large shred, place in a bowl and cover with apple cider vinegar and a pinch of salt. Cover and reserve.
- Trim kale, rinse and dry in a salad spinner. Chop roughly into 1" strip.
- Chop shallots. Slice mushrooms.
- Place a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the walnuts and toast them for a couple minutes until they are fragrant. Remove the walnuts and set them aside.
- Add 2 tbsp olive oil to skillet. Add shallots, mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until mushrooms have rendered all liquid.
- Add kale to the pan and a pinch of salt. Toss and cook until kale is wilted but still bright green. Add a tbsp of balsamic vinegar, toss and set aside.
- When farro is cooked, drain it.
- Drain the vinegar from the beets.
- Place 1/4 of the kale mix on each plate. Top with 1/4 of the farro. Drizzle 1 tsp balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp olive oil on each plate.
- Top with 1/4 of the beets, 1/4 of the feta cheese and 1/4 of the walnuts. Grind some fresh pepper on top to taste.