Burrata, Bruised Kale and Bread Salad with Crispy Farro

Burrata, Bruised Kale and Bread Salad with Crispy Farro

Burrata, Bruised Kale and Bread Salad with Crispy Farro

If you are anything like me, you have the best of intentions to eat healthier – which usually includes a generous supplementation of salads to your diet. But I find that salads can get quite boring. They can be monochromatic in taste, texture and the less exciting they are, the less I am inclined to keep them as a regular part of my diet.

Here I have attempted to combat the mundane character of the salad by focusing on a mash-up of texture. The kale is hearty, the crisp farro crunchy and nutty, and the burrata is so soft and creamy.

Yes, there is cheese in this salad. Yes, there is crisp fried farro and crunchy garlic smeared bread in this salad.  So, no this may not qualify as the healthiest of salads, but it is hearty and satisfying enough to supplement a large meal, and at least you are getting a whopping amount of greens, grains, and good oils.

Kale in itself is difficult to eat raw. By massaging, or bruising the kale, you can start to break down some of the fibres and release the flavours. I love massaging kale, It is an uber-satisfying as a task, and the end product is tasty and can last in the fridge for a couple of days, making it an easy addition to a packed lunch.

The crispy farro in this recipe is a revelation. Farro is a whole grain – somewhere in between quinoa and barley. When eaten simply cooked in a traditional way – it is firm but chewy and makes an excellent risotto. I would recommend making a double batch of this crispy farro as it keeps for up to five days in a sealed container, and is nutty, crunchy and so flavourful it can kick any croutons ass.

Burrata is pure decadence. It looks like a delicate satchel of white mozzarella, and once you pierce the outer shell, out spills its delectable, soft creamy centre. Typically burrata is served on its own, with a few simple accompaniments so the flavour and texture is highlighted. I have included it in this salad as the texture is the polar opposite to the farro and bread, and when forked, creates its own creamy and decadent dressing.

Burrata, Bruised Kale and Bread Salad with Crispy Farro

Burrata, Bruised Kale and Bread Salad with Crispy Farro

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 cups (1,000 ml) of kale, leaves torn from stem into bite-sized pieces

1 tablespoon (15 ml) of good quality olive oil

1 teaspoon (5 ml) of lemon juice

2 cups (500 ml) of vegetable stock

1 cup (250 ml) of farro

1 cup (250 ml) of grapeseed oil

8 cloves of garlic – peeled

8 slices of baguette

½ cup (125 ml) of olive oil

1 ball of burrata

¼ (1.25 ml) teaspoon of chili flakes

salt and pepper to taste

Method

Bruised kale

In a large bowl, combine the torn kale leaves, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Using your hands in a massaging motion, work the olive oil and lemon juice into the kale, for about 3-4 minutes. While doing this you will see the kale turn a deep, brilliant green. Cover the kale and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Roasted garlic bread

Preheat oven to 350F. In a small oven-proof dish combine the peeled garlic and ½ cup of olive oil. Roast in the oven until the garlic is tender, approximately 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, but leave the oven on.

Using 4 of the cloves of garlic, and about 2 tablespoons of the oil from the roasted garlic dish, mash into a paste and spread evenly on both sides of each slice of bread. Arrange the bread slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet and return to the oven. Cook for about 7 minutes, then flip the bread slices and cook for 7 additional minutes. Remove from the oven.

Crispy farro

In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to a boil. Add the farro and cook until the farro is tender but not mushy – about 25 minutes.

Remove the farro from the pot and drain. Allow to cool slightly.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the grapeseed oil and warm to about 250F.

Working in batches, add the farro and fry until crisp – about 1 minute. Remove the farro from the oil with a fine slotted spoon and allow to drain on a paper towel.

Working in a lipped dish, carefully cut the burrata into 8 even wedges, ensuring you collect the soft centre, which will spill out.

To assemble the salad; divide the kale among 4 plates, top with 2-3 tablespoons of the crispy farro, 2 slices of bread, one clove of roasted garlic, 2 wedges of burrata, pinch of chili flakes and salt and pepper to taste.

Burrata, Bruised Kale and Bread Salad with Crispy Farro