Fans of Sycamore may recognize this beauty: it’s chef Simon Armen‘s beloved Tuscan Kale & Farro Salad. A regular on the menu at the award-winning Newton restaurant, this hearty, all-season salad will see you through the chilly early April days right on through to sunnier summer days.
for the vinaigrette
- 1 cup whole garlic cloves
- 2 cups olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 cups Tuscan kale, rinsed and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup farro, simmered in lightly salted water until tender (about 15 minutes)
- 2 tablespoons dried black currants
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup grated piave vecchio or parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit
- In a small pot over medium heat, bring garlic and olive oil to a light simmer with liberal amount of salt. Cover and bake in oven for 30 minutes until very tender and pale gold in color. Strain off garlic, reserve oil and set both aside to cool.
- While cooling, bring balsamic and water up to a boil with a liberal amount of salt and pepper. Once boiling, add currants, wrap pot in plastic wrap and set aside off the heat.
- In a blender puree cooked garlic, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar and water until smooth. Slowly drizzle in cooled oil until creamy and emulsified. Season nicely with salt and pepper. If ingredients are too warm or if it seems too thick the dressing will break. Adjust with more cooled water.
- Combine farro and kale in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and squeeze firmly a few times to tenderize the kale. Add cheese, an appropriate amount of dressing, and the currants and toss.
- Top with toasted pine nuts and parsley, and a few cracks of black pepper. Bon Appetit!