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+ servings

Farro with Kale Pesto, Shaved Zucchini and Parmesan

Author - Serena Wolf
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 4 -6 side servings


  • cups uncooked semi-pearled farro
  • 2 small zucchini or one medium zucchini
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ cup Marcona almonds chopped (You can obviously use regular or slice almonds if you prefer.)
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese for serving

For the Kale Pesto:

  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale center ribs removed and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese optional
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper


  • Start by cooking the farro according to the package directions. (Usually 10-15 minutes in boiling salted water.) Strain and set aside.
  • Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, shave your zucchini into thin ribbons. Place the zucchini in a small bowl and toss with the juice of ½ lemon, a good sprinkling of salt, and fresh ground pepper to taste. Briefly set aside.
  • Moving on to the pesto! Start by toasting the pine nuts. Heat a pan (with no oil!) over medium-high heat. When hot, add the pine nuts and toast, shaking the pan occasionally, for 1-2 minutes until browned. (Pay attention, peeps. I let mine get a little too brown…) Remove from the pan and let cool for a few minutes.
  • Add the toasted pine nuts to the bowl of a food processor or blender along with the chopped kale, garlic, lemon juice and zest and Parmesan cheese (if using). Pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the olive oil and process until relatively smooth. Season generously with salt and fresh ground pepper.
  • Place the farro in a mixing bowl and add ¾-1 cup pesto (depending on how pesto-y you want things). Stir to combine.
  • You have two options for assembling the dish: 1.) Add the zucchini and chopped Marcona almonds to the farro, toss everything together, and then top with shaved Parmesan cheese. OR 2.) Assemble the dish in layers. (This is more for presentation purposes). Arrange half of the zucchini in an even layer on a serving plate/bowl/platter. Top with half of the farro, half the almonds and a little cheese. Top with another layer of zucchini, reserving a few pieces, and add the remaining farro. Top with the reserved zucchini, and sprinkle with the remaining almonds and some more Parmesan.Serve room temperature or cold.