farro kale salad + bacon + strawberries

I guess we could call this the season of trying new grains... and liking it. First, bulgar. Now, Farro.
There honestly isn't much to say about this - except that it is great. Kale isn't a win for everyone so that is balanced out nicely with the grain (farro) and other delights like strawberries, pepitos, and bacon. The dressing is a slightly tangy lemon base. If this doesn't sound complicated, it is because it isn't. Just a little bit of chopping, cooking, and prep and you've got a really refreshing salad.

While I've always been a creature of habit, this has really become magnified in recent weeks. I've been regularly loving on avocado toast and smoothies almost every day. It's a bit of a routine... and I eat/drink while I watch an episode of Frasier on Amazon. Perfection. This salad was a welcome switch up to that routine - even two days in a row. 

Hints:
  • you can make the farro several days in advance... and then use it again and again in different recipes... or just make this same thing again and again like I did.
  • on day 2, I added feta cheese ... and it was a good decision. You can absolutely get by without it, but honestly why? Just add the cheese if you want it.
Here's how it goes.
(Step 1) In a medium bowl, combine the shallot, lemon zest and juice, and sea salt. Whisk in olive oil to emulsify.

(Step 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.

(Step 3) Cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Once done, pull to a paper towel to cool.

(Step 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. 

(Step 5) Add chopped kale in a dressing bowl and toss.
 
(Step 6) Add cooked farro to the kale mixture until you get the rough proportions you like. Add in chopped bacon, and toasted pepitas. 

(Step 7) Portion out to plates and then add strawberries to the top. Add a pinch of salt/pepper as needed. EAT.
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

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