This breakfast grain salad combines a few of my favorite things: sweet and salty flavor combinations, savory (or savory-ish) breakfasts, whole grains, sweet potatoes, and creamy dressings. It’s such a no brainer that I’m surprised it took this long to pop into my head ?
I have to admit that, as I was putting this together, I wasn’t sure it would work (maybe that’s why it took a while to materialize on my table). I wondered about the creamy dressing and whether it would overwhelm the other ingredients, and I worried that the multiple steps involved would be off-putting to people considering the recipe. After this past year, I’m more sensitive than ever to the importance of a streamlined cooking process, and this one is, honestly, a little piecemeal.
There are times, though, when an extra step or two is really worth it. Now that I’ve tasted the salad, I can see how each step serves a purpose: you could leave the kale raw, but the tenderness it acquires through steaming makes it a better textural compliment to the root veggies. You could steam the potatoes and apples instead of roasting them, but roasting or air frying them gives them a slight crispiness and deeper sweetness that shines through, even once the salad is dressed.
What you can do to make the salad easier to assemble is to whisk together the dressing, roast/air fry the veggies, or cook the farro in advance. Any and all of those steps will make this salad come together pretty easily, and once it does, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. I love the fact that it’s bright, colorful and fresh-tasting, yet dense and filling enough to make a very good breakfast.
I got about six small or four generous portions from the recipe. If you do make it for a morning meal, you could compliment it with some tempeh bacon, a piece of fruit, or a slice of toast, depending on how hungry you are. The leftovers keep well for about three days, and they’re great for lunch, too. Here’s the recipe.
- 1 cup pearled or regular farro, dry
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
- 2 large (or 3 small) apples, cored and chopped
- 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil (such as safflower or grapeseed) or a vegetable oil spray
- 3 cups tightly packed, chopped kale
For the Creamy Almond Butter Citrus Dressing
- 3 tablespoons almond, sunflower seed, or cashew butter
- 1/3 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed is really nice, but bottle or carton is fine, too!)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon tamari or Bragg's Liquid aminos
Cook the farro according to package instructions.
To roast the potatoes and apples in the oven, preheat your oven to 400F and line one or two baking sheets with parchment. Toss the sweet potatoes and apples in the oil and transfer them to the sheet or place them on the sheet and spray them with oil spray. Roast for 30-35 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking, or until they're tender and golden.
To air fry the sweet potatoes and apples, transfer them to your air fryer basket and spray with oil. Air fry, in batches if necessary, for 12 minutes at 375F.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil and use a steamer attachment to steam the kale for 5 minutes, or until tender.
To make the dressing, whisk the ingredients together till smooth.
Once the farro, potatoes, apples, and kale are cooked, mix them together in a large mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over them and toss to combine. Serve the salad warm or chill and enjoy. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
A note about the almond butter in the dressing: it’s just mild enough to not compete with the apples or potatoes or nutty farro too much. But I like the salad so much that I’ve made it twice now, and the second time I tried sunflower seed butter. It was also wonderful, if a little more “nutty” tasting overall. It made me think that a peanut butter version may be worth a try soon.
I’m excited to enjoy this one many times more as the weather cools down. Hope some of you will, too. Hope your weeks are off to a good start!