(This post is sponsored by Whole Foods! Thank you so so much for reading and supporting the brands that I love!)
One of my absolute favorite parts of summer is loading up on allll the beautiful produce. Especially CHERRIES. I cannot get enough of them! They are so amazing in salads (Exhibit A), blended into smoothies, on yogurt bowls, in desserts, on cheeseboards, you name it. I will fit cherries into the equation some way, somehow.
So today, I teamed up with Whole Foods, my favorite grocery store in the entire world, to bring you this super summery and hearty salad filled with tons of cherry essence!
It’s the PERFECT time to try cherry recipes like this with the fabulous sale Whole Foods is currently running on these gorgeous red cherries! It’s running from 7/26 to 8/1, and they’re on sale for $1.99/lb., (regularly $4.99/lb.), which is incredible. I’ll be stocking up majorly!
In this salad, we’ve got fresh cherries of course, and a cherry balsamic that I am IN LOVE with. I used the sour cherry jam that you can find in their gourmet cheese section. It’s amazing with cheese but also amazing in this dressing. It adds the most perfect sweetness to the balsamic and adds that extra cherry flavor I love. It’s especially good with the salty feta and toasted walnuts.
Whole Foods has so many cool ingredients that I have such a hard time finding anywhere else. The quality and freshness of their ingredients and produce is incredible. I also love their 365 brand products because the value is AMAZING. I shop there every single week, and I look forward to the incredible quality of products and deals I get every time.
Another thing I love about this salad is that it’s so hearty, but light at the same time. If that makes any sense at all. The kale stands up so well to the dressing, and the farro makes this more of a substantial meal. Even though it’s vegetarian, it’s super filling because of the farro and all of the healthy fats! Avocado, walnuts, and olive oil – I’m looking at you.
I’ve even eaten this a couple days after I made it, and it kept really well in the fridge. I’d say fresh is the best, but it certainly keeps well as leftovers for a day or two.
Can summer please never end? I just want to eat this 24/7. The day I can’t get all the cherries and berries I want will be a sad, sad day.
I used to make loaded vegetarian salads like these all the time, but I got away from it for a little bit. This summer has been SO busy! I’m going to be sure to make it a point to make this salad a bunch of times before the season is over.
There’s so much texture in this salad. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know it’s crucial for me to have in my meals! Not just texture, but different types of texture. We’ve got chewy farro, crunchy walnuts, creamy avocado and feta, hearty kale, and sweet juicy cherries. It’s SO perfect!
Now go stock up on some beautiful cherries and make this loaded salad before summer is over!
- For the SALAD:
- 1 bunch curly kale, de-stemmed and shredded
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 cups cooked farro (I use the quick cooking 365 brand from Whole Foods)
- 2 cups dark sweet cherries, pitted and halved
- ½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (I toast mine for a few minutes on medium-low heat in a dry skillet)
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta + extra for serving
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil + extra for topping
- 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
- For the CHERRY BALSAMIC DRESSING:
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon sour cherry jam (I find it in the gourmet cheese section at Whole Foods)
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Place kale in a large bowl and add the tablespoon of olive oil and pinch of salt. Massage with your hands for a minute or two until kale becomes softer and reduced in volume.
- Make the dressing. In a food processor or blender, combine the garlic, sour cherry jam, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend until completely smooth and emulsified.
- Add the cooked farro, cherries, walnuts, feta, basil, and ¼ cup of the dressing to the kale. Stir to combine.
- Top with sliced avocado, and serve with extra dressing, chopped basil, and feta!