Broccoli Rabe & Kale Harvest Salad with Cranberry Orange Dressing

Created by Laura Wright
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Broccoli rabe and kale harvest salad with orange cranberry dressing is a colourful and healthy addition to any Fall table.

Broccoli Rabe + Kale Harvest Salad // via thefirstmess.com #broccolirabe
This post is sponsored by Andy Boy Broccoli Rabe.
An overhead shot of kale growing in the sunshine.
An overhead shot of ingredients for a salad.
An overhead shot of farro cooked in a pot


Hey American friends. I see your Thanksgiving holiday coming up, and I offer you this colourful and hearty kale harvest salad, along with a few other tidbits. Our Canadian version of the holiday has already come and gone. I got a couple dinners in and a little downtime, so a win overall!

Don’t forget to eat a salad/have some vegetables for extra vibrance around this time. I created this colourful salad with kale and broccoli rabe as an unusual and light counter to all of the heavier holiday fare. There’s a hot pink cranberry-orange dressing that’s spiked with ginger and maple syrup. Chewy cooked farro fills the dish out, along with some crunchy walnuts and thin wisps of fennel, apple, and red onion. I find that incorporating lots of colours and small/thin cuts of vegetables makes for greater success with healthier dishes at large get-togethers. The small cuts seem less committal maybe? Hope you try this broccoli rabe and kale harvest salad for yourself or for a feast sometime soon :)

Broccoli Rabe + Kale Harvest Salad // via thefirstmess.com #broccolirabe

Broccoli Rabe & Kale Harvest Salad with Cranberry Orange Dressing

Broccoli rabe and kale harvest salad with orange cranberry dressing is a colourful and healthy addition to any Fall table.
No ratings yet
Broccoli Rabe + Kale Harvest Salad // via thefirstmess.com #broccolirabe
Servings 6 -8

Ingredients

Salad

  • ¾ cup dry, uncooked farro
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bunch of broccoli rabe
  • 1 bunch of lacinato/dino kale; about 5 packed cups of chopped kale
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 1 small sweet apple, such as gala or honey crisp
  • thinly sliced red onion
  • ¼ cup walnut halves, toasted and chopped

Orange Cranberry Dressing

  • scant ½ cup frozen whole cranberries, thawed
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Notes

  • You could cook up an equal amount of wild rice, millet, or quinoa for a gluten-free option.

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the rinsed farro, 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring the farro to a boil, cover the pot and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook the farro for 25 minutes, or until it’s cooked through and still has a bit of chew. Drain the farro and set aside.
  • Rinse out the saucepan that you used for the farro and fill it with about 2 inches of water. Place the pot over medium heat. Let it come to a light boil. Set up an ice bath in a medium sized bowl.
  • Trim the tough stems off of the broccoli rabe and cut it into bite-pieces. Drop half of the cut broccoli rabe into the saucepan and place the lid on it right away. Allow the rabe to steam for about 3-4 minutes, or until tender and lightly wilted. Transfer the steamed broccoli rabe to the ice bath. Repeat this blanching process with the remaining broccoli rabe.
  • Remove the stems from the kale and chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Place the chopped kale into a large bowl. Trim the fennel bulb, reserving some of the fronds, and removing the core. Shave the fennel with a mandolin right over the bowl with the kale. Remove the apple core and shave it with a mandolin over the large bowl. Remove the tough outer peel of the red onion and shave it with a mandolin over the large bowl.
  • Squeeze all of the excess water out of the blanched broccoli rabe and place it in the large bowl with the kale and other shaved fruits/vegetables. Add the cooked farro to the bowl as well.
  • To make the dressing, combine the thawed cranberries, olive oil, orange zest, orange juice, fresh ginger, maple syrup, salt, and pepper in an upright blender. Blend the mixture on high until you have a smooth consistency.
  • Season the salad with salt and pepper and pour three quarters of the orange-cranberry onto the salad. Massage the dressing into the kale, broccoli rabe, farro, and other fruits and vegetables until everything is evenly coated. Transfer the dressed salad to a large platter. Drizzle the remaining dressing on top and garnish the salad with the chopped walnuts and fennel fronds.
Broccoli Rabe + Kale Harvest Salad // via thefirstmess.com #broccolirabe

*This post was created in partnership with Andy Boy Broccoli Rabe. All opinions/endorsements are my own. Thanks for supporting!

17/11/2015 (Last Updated 05/08/2023)
Posted in: autumn, bitter, broccoli, earthy, gluten free option, kale, refined sugar-free, salad, side dish, sour, sweet, vegan, winter

28 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Avigail

    The recipe lives on! Just did this with some kale and beet greens and persimmon mixed with quinoa. So delicious!

  • c

    Stunning photos, makes me want to eat it right now! Well done:)

  • Daria Grey

    Mmmm look so delicious. I have a problem with my stomach and in my opinion this recipe is perfect for my daily meal! Thank you, for the recipe Laura. Well done! I will try to prepare It asap :)

  • Quite Chefy

    This looks like such a light, refreshing salad for those days where you just don’t want a heavy meal. I will def. give this a taste in the future.

  • Chelsey

    Great photography! I’d be happy to sit and look at this gorgeous salad and your photos although I’m sure it tastes lovely as well. It’s a refreshing change from all of the standard thanksgiving recipes going around at the moment. x

  • Amy (Lemon and Coconut)

    Very sound advice, thank you! And such a beautiful recipe and beautiful photos too :)

  • ratna

    Love the holiday tips, specially going ‘low tech’. I looove salads. Thanks for sharing this wholesome recipe.

  • Sherrie

    I agree with Sarah ^, your ability to capture light is like no other. This salad is a beaut Laura. I’m loving these tips, especially all that ‘get interest’ business. I’m flying through Master of None, and have a stack of books waiting to be read over the next few weeks, snuggled up with some cozy vibes. xx

  • Sofie Bollen

    wow this looks so good!! gonna try this tomorrow! xx sofie

  • Jessie Snyder | Faring Well

    I love all of these tips/recommendations for getting back to the roots of what Thanksgiving is about, and how to really enjoy the holiday. Big hugs to you for promoting all that you do, and for making yummy dish after dish to inspire us all <3 (Ps. Glad to see you out from hiding before your big deadline! I listened to JM's podcast with you – you're such a hoot, I adore you, good luck in your last week lady!)

  • rachel @ athletic avocado

    This hearty salad would be a great side dish for thanksgiving dinner! I especially love the sound of that cranberry orange dressing! yum!

  • Becca | Spices and Spatulas

    This is everything I’ve ever wanted to eat! And I really love your thoughts on how to approach the holidays, a time that can be SO overwhelming. You rock, lady! xo

  • Keara McGraw

    Sooo beautiful, Laura. I find myself trying to sneak cranberry something into as much as I can this time of year. This salad for sure has to make it to my holiday table! /is waaay more approachable than a vegan “log”. Your tips for a more meditative celebration are amazing and much needed. Cheers!

  • renee (will frolic for food)

    CAN’T EXPLAIN TO YOU HOW EXCITED I AM ABOUT THIS SALAD. Also I can’t wait to try that dressing on everything bc you’re the vibey dressing/sauce queen of the internet. I love your check list on how to have a great holiday, too. i really connect with those feelings. also i think i personally needed those reminders so thank you! i’ll be making some more space to breath and walk and find the joy. <3

  • allysia

    I really need to give broccoli rabe another go – the last time I made it, it was inedible. I’m not a picky person, but it was awful. I think it was the cook’s fault though, not the poor rabe! I think pairing it with these sweet ingredients is the way to go.

    • Laura

      It can be surprisingly bitter, but you’re right: pairing it with slightly sweeter or more acidic flavours really helps. Although, my favourite way to eat it is sautéed with a ton of garlic, and then just stuffed between two pieces of crusty bread. Simple goodness :)
      -L

  • Heidi Kokborg

    This salad look really good! And just perfect for winter!

    • Laura

      Thanks Heidi! :D

  • Harriet

    Yum, yum, yum! Cruciferous veg for the win. Also love your tips! Cozy-vibes are king :)

    • Laura

      Hope you’re stayin’ cozy too, girl ;)
      -L

  • Sarah | Well and Full

    Oh Laura the light in these photos is just stunning! I think you are one of the best photographers at capturing natural light. And it’s so appropriate considering your words in this post! I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t be taking advantage of some of the cyber monday deals, but I am all for going outside and unplugging from technology. One of the rituals my dad and I have is that we always go for a hike after the Thanksgiving dinner, to burn off some of the food coma vibes and enjoy nature! :D

    • Laura

      Thanks for this ultra kind comment, Sarah! Hope you enjoy some outdoors AND some food coma vibes ;)
      -L

  • danielle is rooting the sun

    laura, your lacinato is so gorgeous, and the light you capture gives it the most beautiful and glowing bath. perfect autumnal recipe, these elements i adore. farro is on my heavy rotation currently, i cannot escape my passion for the bite. + the orange cranberry dressing is solid. thank you for sharing such important tips/reminders for a good holiday weekend – i think with all the technology it can be easy to lose sight of the gratuitous reasons we are gathering initially for. enjoying the real time is perfect. xo, love to your autumn.

    • Laura

      Thanks Danielle! I’ve just kind of re-discovered farro recently. Used to love it and eat it a lot, but then kind of quit. But we’re back at it again because that chew is one-of-a-kind. So good. Hope you’re staying cozy out there :)
      -L

  • Anneli

    This looks like such a healthy wholesome salad! I was just reading about lowering blood pressure naturally and one thing I need to eat more of is dark leafy greans like kale. I sometimes get stumped on ways to add variety and this is a salad that I’ll definitely try!

    • Laura

      The dark leafy greens have so many superpowers. It can be hard to get creative with them after a while though. Hope this salad can inspire you a bit! ;)
      ;)

  • Synnøve

    This looks delicious! your photos are stunning.

    • Laura

      Thanks so much! :D
      -L