Warm Farro and Kale Salad

4 as main dish
50 min

Warm farro and kale salad tossed with pears, gorgonzola, bacon, pecans and mouthwatering balsamic fig dressing. It's the perfect fall or winter salad that's easy to throw together for a healthy side dish!

Tender massaged kale, nutty farro, toasted pecans, juicy sweet pears, salty gorgonzola cheese and crunchy bacon pieces all tossed with a delicious balsamic fig dressing.

This might be my new favorite salad recipe. I've had it for a week straight and I'm still not even a little sick of it ;).

I love my fall and winter cozy, hearty soups, but sometimes I need a warm salad bowl to switch things up.

This warm farro and kale salad is easy to throw together and makes a great healthy lunch, dinner or even a holiday side dish (move over antipasto salad!).

It's super easy to make vegetarian too-just omit the bacon :).

My inspiration for this warm salad recipe, believe it or not, was from my favorite flatbread pizza with fig jam, gorgonzola and pears. I love the combination of sweet and salty, and I haven't had a kale salad in a while so I thought, hmm, let's go for it.

Warm Farro Salad Ingredients:

  • farro- it's earthy, nutty and crunchy. You can substitute any whole grain you'd like: quinoa, barley, spelt or brown rice.
  • kale-once massaged, the kale leaves become tender and much more appealing to eat raw! You can substitute with spinach or swiss chard.
  • pears-feel free to use apples instead
  • pecans-can substitute walnuts or almonds
  • bacon-omit for vegetarian version
  • gorgonzola cheese crumbles-substitute with blue cheese crumbles, goat cheese or feta

Balsamic Fig Dressing Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • maple syrup
  • balsamic vinegar
  • finely minced onion
  • fig jam
  • fresh ginger
  • garlic
  • ground sage
  • salt and pepper
How to make warm farro salad with kale:

  1. Cook farro until liquid is absorbed and grain is tender or "al dente". Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl add chopped kale and a pinch of salt. Using your hands, massage the kale until it turns bright green and becomes slightly wilted (massaging the kale makes the leaves nice and tender and less bitter for eating raw).
  3. Transfer cooked farro to a large serving bowl. Add kale, Gorgonzola crumbles, bacon pieces, toasted pecans, and chopped pears. Toss together to combine.
  4. For the dressing: in a small bowl combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, fig jam, garlic, onion, ginger and sage. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine.
  5. Add dressing to farro salad and toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I love the different textures in this grain salad along with the sweet and salty flavors.

This makes a great lunch recipe or you could serve it as a healthy side dish or even as the main course!

Farro is loaded with fiber, protein, vitamins and antioxidants. Add the kale, pecans, and bacon and you got yourself a hearty, healthy meal :).

What to serve with this farro bowl with kale and fig dressing?

For more salad recipes try:

  • Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad with Cranberries
  • Warm Fall Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash
  • Farro Spinach Salad with Apples & Honey Dijon
  • Crunchy Asian Salad with Sesame Peanut Dressing
Recipe details
  • 4  as main dish
  • Prep time: 25 Minutes Cook time: 25 Minutes Total time: 50 min
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Farro and Kale Salad
  • 1 cup uncooked farro
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 big bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped (about 4 cups)
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
  • ½ cup cooked bacon crumbles (about 6 slices of bacon)
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 2 pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1" pieces
Balsamic Fig Dressing
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fig jam
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced onion (yellow or red)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger (or ½ teaspoon ground ginger)
  • ½ teaspoon ground sage
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of black pepper
Farro and Kale Salad
To cook the farro: in a medium saucepan bring 3 cups of broth (or water) to a boil. Add farro, turn heat down to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and farro is tender but still has a little crunch ("al dente"). Drain any excess liquid and set aside.
In a large bowl add chopped kale and pinch of salt. Massage with hands until kale turns brighter green and is slightly wilted. This makes the kale leaves less bitter and more tender for eating.
Add farro to a large serving bowl. Add kale, Gorgonzola, bacon, pecans, and pears. Toss to combine.
For the balsamic fig dressing: combine all the dressing ingredients and stir or whisk to combine.
Pour dressing over the farro salad and toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • *For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon.
  • *Substitute Gorgonzola with blue cheese, goat cheese or feta.
Wine a Little Cook a Lot
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