Kale Salad With Farro, Dried Fruit and Blue Cheese
1/4 cup farro
Salt, as needed
1/4 cup mixed dried fruit (such as sour cherries, cranberries, raisins)
1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
1 pound kale (about 2 bunches)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped, toasted pecans
2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Toast the farro in a dry, medium saucepan over medium heat until it smells nutty and turns golden, for about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and bring to a simmer. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until farro is tender but still a little chewy, for about 45 minutes. Drain (there probably will still be some liquid left), rinse under cold, running water and gently pat dry in a kitchen towel.
Place the dried fruit in a small bowl with the Grand Marnier. Add just enough warm water to cover and set aside until softened, about 15 minutes. Alternatively, microwave fruit for 30 seconds and let stand for 5 minutes.
Remove and discard stems from the kale. Chop leaves into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon salt and the olive oil. Grab leaves by handfuls and massage them roughly. Don't be timid. After a minute or so, leaves will turn soft and silky and reduce in volume to about half what you started with.
Drain dried fruit and add it to kale, along with cooked farro, the blue cheese, red onion, pecans and vinegar. Toss to mix well, then season to taste with black pepper and more salt and vinegar, if necessary.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.