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kale and beet salad with delicata squash in a speckled bowl on a light grey backdrop, with ingredients surrounding the bowl

Kale Salad with Beets, Farro, and Delicata Squash

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  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6
  • Category: salads
  • Method: Oven, Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This hearty & delicious massaged kale salad is packed with nutritious foods including beets, farro, delicata squash, and pecans. Using pre-cooked beets allows you to prepare this recipe in under one hour. It’s perfect for a healthy lunch or side dish with dinner!




  • 3/4 cup dry farro
  • 2 lb delicata squash, seeds removed and sliced into half moons
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 cups curly kale
  • 1 package pre-cooked beets (about 1 1/2 cups), diced
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans
  • 2/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Balsamic Dressing

  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cook farro on the stovetop according to package instructions. Transfer cooked farro to a clean baking sheet and spread it out in a thin layer. Put the baking sheet in the fridge to quickly cool down the farro for the salad.
  3. Toss delicata squash with half the olive oil, a generous shake of salt and pepper, and cinnamon. Spread it out on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until fork tender.
  4. Prepare the kale by removing the stems, washing and drying the leaves, and chopping the leaves into bite size pieces. 
  5. In a large salad bowl, massage the kale with the remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt until it is softened for the salad.
  6. Add the cooked and cooled farro, roasted delicata squash, beets, toasted pecans, and feta cheese to the salad bowl.
  7. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, honey, Dijon, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl until cohesive.
  8. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix everything up well.


How to massage kale

I highly recommend you check out this post on how to prepare and massage kale. But here are the basics on how to massage kale:

  • Remove kale leaves from the stems and discard of the stems. Wash and dry the kale.
  • Chop kale leaves into bite size pieces, or use your hands to tear the leaves into pieces.
  • Put kale leaves in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add a small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt.
  • Use your hands to rub the kale leaves together in a massaging motion.
  • Continue for about a minute, until kale is noticeably softer and darker green.


This recipe keeps well as leftovers, because kale doesn’t get soggy after you add salad dressing. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.