Farro, Chickpea and Kale Salad with Roasted Purple Carrots and Goats Fetta

February 2, 2012

Kale is such a delight. It’s rich and crunchy and lean and assured. It’s also pretty fancy. I don’t see it at my grocer as often as I’d like. I think it likes to play hard to get. So when I do spot a bursting bunch, I snap it up quick smart and use it to my heart’s content – simply sautéed, oven roasted or even plainly steamed. Accompanied with a little sea salt and maybe some garlic, chilli and lemon, it’s deeelicious, and a real favourite in my household.

…..

Let me ask you this… what do you think about purple carrots? Do you love them? Have you tried them before?

I first tasted purple carrots a couple of months ago, and was not much fussed with the flavor. However I recently decided to give them another go, and as soon as I forgave them for their lack of sweetness, the winning characteristic of their orange brothers, and embraced their earthier, grittier tones, I became quite enamored. They’re much more like their root vegetable brother from another mother, beetroot. And I can certainly handle more beetroot likeness in my life, can’t you? Especially when you don’t have to dirty your fingers in any peeling prerogative.

…..

This salad contains both kale and purple carrots, so that’s just fabulous. But then throw in farro, a grain similar to brown rice and freekeh, goats cheese, chickpeas and sticky, sweet roasted red onion and I’m head over heels. To make things even more special, we add a pomegranate molasses dressing. Sold? I hope so. I sure am.

Farro, Chickpea and Kale Salad with Roasted Purple Carrots and Goats Fetta

Serves 10 as a side salad

Ingredients

1 cup Farro
1 cup Stock (chicken or vegetable stock, depending on whether you’re feeding any vegetarians)
1.5 cups Water

3 Purple Carrots (you could use orange carrots or even beetroot if you wish)
2 Red Onions
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt, to taste

Spray Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large bunch of Kale
½ tablespoon Garlic-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil (if you don’t have garlic-infused oil, use ½ a small garlic clove, crushed, mixed with regular extra virgin olive oil)
Juice of ½ a juicy Lemon
Sea Salt, to taste

1.5 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-3 tablespoons Pomegranate Molasses – from Gourmet Delis. I use this one (link). (quantity used depends on how sweet you like your dressing! Taste at 2 tablespoons and add more if you like it sweeter.)
Juice of ½ a juicy Lemon

420g canned Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
120g Goats Fetta (I used Dodoni this time, however Meredith Goats Fetta remains my favourite)

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 Degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.

2. Place the farro, stock and water in a pot on the stovetop. Bring to the boil and then simmer down for 20-30 minutes, until all the water is absorbed and the farro is cooked yet still has a nice bite to it. Keep an eye on the pot and add more water or stock as needed. Once cooked, put the lid on and set aside.

3. Dice the carrots into 2.5cm chunks, slicing the thicker pieces again down the centre, and place on the baking tray. Peel the onions and slice them in half, then slice each half into 6-8 long wedges. Add the wedges to the baking tray. Coat the carrots and onion with 1 tablespoon olive oil, a little sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Use your hands to ensure they’re evenly coated – it’s the only way. Pop the tray into the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, rotate the vegetables with tongs, adding a little spray oil if everything looks a tad dry. Put the tray back into the oven and roast for a further 5-10 minutes until the carrots are cooked and the onion is looking rich and sticky. Remove from the oven and set aside.

4. Dice the kale into 2cm chunks, removing any of the very hard, end pieces. Wash well. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat, add a little spray oil and when hot, dump the kale in, using tongs to rotate and cook the kale. Add water by the tablespoon if the kale starts to look a little dry. It will take 3-5 minutes to cook though. Be careful not to overcook the kale, as you still want it a little crunchy and you certainly don’t want to lose it’s beautiful vibrant colour. When cooked, turn the heat off and drizzle the garlic oil and juice of ½ the lemon over the top. Scantly scatter some sea salt and then toss to combine. Set aside.

5. In a small cup or jar, combine 1.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses and the remaining ½ lemon juice. Taste and add another ½-1 tablespoon molasses if you like a sweeter dressing.

6. Fork through the farro to break it up, and then combine the farro, carrots and onions, kale and drained/rinsed chickpeas in a large bowl. Add ¾ of the dressing and gently toss to combine. If you think you need more dressing, add the remaining ¼.

7. Crumble the goats feta over the top and give one final gentle stir.

8. Serve alongside grilled meat, chicken or fish.

Heidi xo
  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) February 2, 2012 at 7:24 am

    What a unique combination! I struggle to find kale around here!

  • Leah February 2, 2012 at 8:26 am

    This goes straight into my recipe folder, can't wait to try it. Looks amazing 😀

  • Michelle Chin February 2, 2012 at 9:51 am

    I've tried purple carrots. They remind me of sweet potatoes. Maybe milder. 😀

  • lucent imagery February 2, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I love making salads like this. After watching Cold Souls movie this week, I might not look at a chickpea the same way again! But still love them. I'm yet to try purple carrots or kale.

  • Hotly Spiced February 2, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    What a nutritious looking salad. I love kale too. I've cooked purple carrots before and really enjoyed them. I roasted them and I think that helps retain the flavour. And they do look so pretty being bright purple.

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella February 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I love kale and purple carrots and this is such a wonderfully healthy salad! I love all of these unusual vegetables that we're just getting to know again. I saw a black radish last year!

  • Hannah February 2, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    There is absolutely nothing here that I don't love. Oh for a heaping plate of this! And a mouth that doesn't hurt when I chew. If only the antibiotics would start working!

    P.S. Speaking of, what should I eat to counter the negative sides of antibiotics? I've eaten a lot of plain yoghurt tonight, but your mad dietitian skillz might know of other things that could help?

  • Lucas @ coverversions.tv February 2, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    I used purple carrots in my first ever blogged recipe! I liked them, but mine were tricky to peel and it took forever (they were tiny).

  • Heidi February 3, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Lisa – we all need better kale access!!

    Leah – thanks, lovely 🙂

    Michelle – interesting! Yes I didn't find them sweet, perhaps you got a good bunch 🙂

    lucent imagery – hmmm have never heard of that movie. I might leave it that way! haha. I like my chickpeas 🙂

    Hotly Spiced – yes they're so pretty! And agreed, roasting them works so well.

    Lorraine – thank you 🙂 and that sounds amazing! Black radish – how cool.

    Hannah – just PM'd you on twitter!! Hope you start to get better soon 🙁

    Lucas – yay for your recipe!! I don't peel my carrots. ever. Or potatoes. I love the nutrients in the skin! So that makes it easier 😉

    Heidi xo

  • Sneh | Cook Republic February 3, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Beautiful salad. Bookmarking it! I grow kale and am always amazed by it! Purple carrots were new to me last year, I baked purple carrot cakes.

  • Martyna@WholesomeCook February 3, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Oh my gosh, this is divine! I can see having that for late lunch sometime next week while Mr Chippy is away for work. Yum!

  • Heidi February 4, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Sneh – purple carrot cake!! How fabulous 🙂

    Martyna – thanks!!

    Heidi xo

  • Ashley February 4, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    I saw purple carrots at Queen Vic sometime ago but didn't have a chance to try them out. Your recipe has reminded I should go hunting for them again…where did you get yours? 🙂

  • Heidi February 5, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I got mine at a grocer I frequent on Koornang rd in Carnegie. I've even seen them at Woolworths though, so purple carrot love seems to be growing!! xo

  • Kath (My Funny Little Life) February 9, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Mmmmmm this looks delicious! 🙂