Discover farro as a cornerstone ingredient in Italian cooking by preparing this warm farro salad tossed with roasted sweet potatoes, kale, sweet chopped dates and a tangy pancetta salad dressing. It's a hearty main course salad recipe that the whole family will love, especially in the fall.
Inspired by a classic warm spinach salad with hot bacon dressing, this warm farro salad might just be the best of all farro salad recipes. You might already be a fan of the popular farro and burrata salad or maybe you prefer the chopped mediterranean farro salad. Farro with its nutty flavor is the star of all of these simple side dish recipes and is one of the most versatile whole grains to prepare.
The perfect fall salad recipe
Here's 3 reasons to love this recipe all year 'round not just in Fall:
- Caramelized flavor. Roasting the sweet potatoes and mushrooms adds rich flavor reminiscent of fall.
- Cozy warm dressing. Calling on a sweet pancetta dressing from an iconic butternut squash and kale salad recipe gives a salty tang.
- Apple cider. A classic ingredient in fall recipes, apple cider plays a supporting role with star quality.
- Flexible. You can serve this salad also at room temperature making it a great party side dish or salad.
For this Italian farro salad recipe, you'll simmer the farro in apple cider, a cooking technique borrowed from New York City's famed Italian restaurant, Charlie Bird. Charlie Bird's farro salad recipe has sugar snap peas, pistachio and parmesan. Cooking the farro in cider results in a sweet, somewhat sticky but still chewy farro that pairs gorgeously with the bitterness of the roasted kale.
Ingredient call outs
How to make warm farro salad
Ready to make the best farro salad?
- Start by simmering the cider and adding the farro. The ratio is 2:1 cider to farro. Set aside once cooked with that chewy texture farro is known for.
- Lay the chopped veggies and trimmed kale leaves on baking sheets and drizzle with olive oil and roast until golden.
- Meanwhile, heat the diced pancetta in a small skillet and once cooked about 6 minutes or so, remove the pancetta and then deglaze the pan with apple cider vinegar scraping up all the brown bits until the dressing has thickened.
- Add the farro to a large bowl and top with the roasted veggies. Drizzle the dressing over and toss.
5 tips for perfect roasted vegetables...every time!
Warm Farro Salad with Kale, Roasted Sweet Potato and Dates
For the dressing
- 4 oz. cubed pancetta, I get mine at Trader Joe's
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 T honey
For the salad:
- 1 cup farro
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 cup water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms
- 5 large lacinato kale leaves
- chopped dried dates
- Preheat oven to 400˚
- Bring apple cider, water and bay leaves to a boil and add farro. Cook for 10 minutes (if using Trader Joe's quick cooking farro) until soft but chewy. Drain as needed and remove bay leaves and discard. If using a different farro, cook for 25 minutes.1 cup farro, 1 cup apple cider, 1 cup water, 2 bay leaves
- Peel and cube sweet potato.1 sweet potato
- Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel and cut into quarters.8 oz baby bella mushrooms
- Wash kale leaves and remove leaves from stem by tearing or with a knife. Place in a large bowl and massage with olive oil and a sprinkling of kosher salt for about 3 minutes or so.5 large lacinato kale leaves
- Place all vegetables on a baking tray(s) and toss the sweet potatoes and mushrooms with a little olive oil and sprinkling of salt. Roast until crispy and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Toss as needed for even caramelization. Check the mushrooms about 15 minutes in and remove sooner if needed.
- To make warm dressing, cook pancetta in a skillet over medium heat until crispy, about 5-6 minutes. Turn off heat and deglaze pan with apple cider vinegar using a wooden spoon and add a little honey. Stir until incorporated.4 oz. cubed pancetta, ½ cup apple cider vinegar, 1 T honey
- Add farro to a wide rimmed, large bowl and top with roasted vegetables and chopped dates. Drizzle dressing over.chopped dried dates