Farro Salad with Kale Pesto

farro salad with kale pesto / loveandlemons.com

I’m continuing my kale pesto kick with this easy throw-together grain salad. This was based around ingredients I already had in my fridge and pantry… come to life with spoonfuls of the pesto I had made earlier in the week.

Feel free, with this one, to sub in ingredients that you have on hand. The farro could be wheatberries or quinoa, the arugula could be shreds of raw kale leaves, the radishes could be another crunchy veggie. Make a big batch and save some for lunch the next day.

Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side. Scale accordingly.

farro salad with kale pesto

  • 1 cup farro, cooked (about ½ cup uncooked, plus 1 cup water)
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • a big handful of arugula
  • 1-2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • a few good squeezes of lemon plus some lemon zest
  • a few heaping spoonfuls of kale pesto
  • a small handful of chopped walnuts
  • 2 radishes, sliced
  • generous grating of parmesan cheese (a crumbly goat or feta cheese would have also been nice here), or omit cheese
  • pinches of red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Start by cooking the farro. Bring ½ cup farro and 1 cup (salted) water to a gentle boil. Reduce and simmer for about 25-35 minutes. (Check it at the 15-20 minute mark, give it a stir to make sure it’s not burning/sticking to the bottom of the pot. It’s done when it’s tender and chewy, not crunchy and not mushy).
  2. Drain farro, shaking out excess water. Toss it with olive oil, salt, pepper and the arugula.
  3. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, lemon, lemon zest, some of the pesto, some of the grated cheese and toss again. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Finish the salad with radishes, a few more dollops of pesto, and another grating of cheese on top.

Serve at room temp.


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Meg

    This was perfect! I was craving pesto and made this last night. I ended up swapping in peal barley for the farro and added some chickpeas and avocado. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  2. Farro is hands down my favorite grain and a staple in my pantry. I’m always looking for new recipes to make…and this one looks amazing! Especially as it uses another favorite…kale! A great way too of “hiding” the kale from my hubby who is not quite as big a fan as I am! 🙂

    • jeanine

      I hide kale in everything too 🙂

  3. Love a delicious salad with hearty grains and veggies. This looks perfect!

  4. Yelle from tender-roots.com

    What a wonderful salad! I adore radishes – flavor and color in one 🙂

  5. This is exactly the kind of lunch I love, and such a nice way to make the most of early spring ingredients like kale and radishes. I totally have a crush on kale pesto too.

  6. Laura from thefirstmess.com

    Yes, this is the best kind of food. Greens and grains and a tasty sauce/pesto to bring it all together. Such a winning combo on this one too. I’ve been enjoying the heck out of farro lately. Lovely inspiration, Jeanine!

  7. Oooo! I love normal pesto so I’ll have to love this! I have to get my hands on some kale now! =)

  8. Sonja from acouplecooks.com

    This looks gorgeous! I love your dish — and all the delicious ingredients. We have radishes at the market now, and this looks like a great way to use them! Hope all is well with you! 🙂 XO

  9. i s a from headredandblondi.blogspot.com

    I LOVE that there is red pepper flakes… this sounds really good 😛

    • jeanine

      I love red pepper flakes in so many things 🙂

  10. Ashley from edibleperspective.com

    I seriously think we have the same taste buds. I made almost the exact same kale pesto the other week and farro was my very favorite grain before going GF. Have you tried it for breakfast? I highly recommend partially grinding it and cooking it as a porridge. Yum! And super YUM to this entire dish!

    • jeanine

      I haven’t tried it for breakfast, but I’ll have to, thanks!

  11. Rebecca

    How delicious! And where did you get that beautiful plate???

    • jeanine

      thanks! I think I got the plate on Etsy, it’s vintage.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.