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
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)
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.