Farro, Kale, and Strawberry Salad with Bacon and Chili-Dusted Pepitas

June  2, 2015
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This salad piles on flavors and textures for a dinner-worthy creation that's wonderful as a side or all on its own. —Elizabeth Stark

What You'll Need
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon plus 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dry farro
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1/4 cup raw, hulled pepitas
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, sliced into thin ribbons
  • 1 quart strawberries, hulled and halved
  • Black pepper, to taste
  1. In a small bowl, combine the minced shallot, lemon zest and juice, and sea salt. Whisk in olive oil to emulsify.
  2. Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add a generous amount of sea salt and the farro. Boil for 20 minutes, or until farro is cooked to al dente. Drain, set in a bowl, and toss with half the dressing. 
  3. Meanwhile, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Set bacon strips on a paper towel-lined plate. Chop when cool enough to handle. 
  4. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon bacon grease and toss in pepitas. Cook over medium heat, shaking skillet gently, until the first few pepitas start to pop. Remove from heat, toss with a big pinch sea salt and the chili powder, and set aside. 
  5. Set kale in a medium bowl and toss with remaining dressing and a pinch of sea salt. 
  6. To serve, layer dressed farro and kale in a clean bowl. Top with chopped bacon, toasted pepitas, and strawberries. Finish with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately. (Though it's especially delicious warm, this salad will keep well in the fridge for a day or two. Because salt can leech the sweetness, consider adding the strawberries just before serving.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Änneken
  • Caroline Cooks
    Caroline Cooks
  • Elizabeth Stark
    Elizabeth Stark
  • Sobo73
Elizabeth Stark, along with her husband Brian Campbell, chronicles her passion for simple, fresh recipes on the award-wining food blog Brooklyn Supper.

15 Reviews

Änneken October 25, 2017
I didn't have enough farro in the house so I used pearl barley. I love most raw kale salads and this is no exception. Yum!
Caroline C. October 9, 2015
This is so good. I've been wary of farro but it is oh so delicious! Nutty, chewy, buttery.
Sobo73 August 19, 2015
Love this salad! its a huge hit with the whole family (including visiting parents). I use a little less bacon but definitely think it has to be there to some degree to add more contrast to the salad (which is really what makes it sooooooo satisfying. We usually serve it with grilled pork tenderloin (hence the lesser degree of bacon), but would also eat it as a meal itself . Would recommend to anyone.
Skiingstella July 7, 2015
This was a delicious salad! We made without the bacon because it was a side salad for a fried chicken entree. Loved the contrast of the tart lemon juice with the sweet strawberries. We have also tried with quinoa instead of farro for my GF mother. It was still fantastic!
cathryn W. July 6, 2015
This is a gorgeous salad such a hit at our party. It keeps well for a couple of days too. Thank you :)
Sheila E. June 26, 2015
I made this last night and LOVED it! It had a wonderful flavor, especially with each bite of strawberry mixed in. Lots of different textures, which I really enjoyed. I'm having the leftovers for breakfast, and while still yummy, I enjoyed it more immediately after making. Thank you for such a unique recipe and my first introduction to farro!
Charlotte B. June 24, 2015
Is there a substitute for the kale? I just don't like it.
rebeccab June 25, 2015
Hi, I'm not a kale fan either, but I love arugula--planning to make it this weekend with arugula instead.
Elizabeth S. June 25, 2015
Hi Charlotte and Rebecca,
Arugula sounds like a wonderful substitution. I'd dress the leaves just before adding to the salad for any lettuce-type leaves. I have a garden full of leafy greens, and frequently swap mild-tasting collards or the more supple leave of chard for kale in recipes - for any of these heartier green, you'll still want to dress leaves in advance. I hope you'll keep us posted!
Julie S. June 24, 2015
This recipe sounds great! Just went to Olive's in Dayton and had a fabulous strawberry bacon grilled cheese sandwich.
Elizabeth S. June 25, 2015
Hi Julie, That sounds wonderful!
Erin.Quinn June 24, 2015
How would this be without bacon?
Elizabeth S. June 24, 2015
Hi Erin,
I think it would be great without the bacon. I like this salad as something a little more than a side, though, so you might want to make it special with a few kind of nuts to add some smoky/savory richness.
DaveM June 24, 2015
I made this last night and it was absolutely wonderful. My family devoured it. Great combination of textures and flavors. Just one minor tweak - I macerated the strawberries in a very small amount of sugar (1/8 cup) for a few hours to bring out the natural juices and flavor. Delicious.
Elizabeth S. June 24, 2015
Hi Dave, Glad you enjoyed it! I like how you enhanced the sweet and savory thing with a bit of sugar. Great thinking!