Pack this main dish into single-serving containers the day before travel. The flavor will improve overnight (and sturdy kale won't wilt). We like to keep meals cool with disposable ice packs, which we throw away just before security; the salad will be good for a couple of hours at room temperature. Don't forget the plastic forks!
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil; more for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 1 bunch Tuscan kale, center ribs and stems removed, leaves cut into 1-inch squares
- 3 medium golden beets (about 1 bunch), trimmed
- 2 teaspoons (or more) unseasoned rice vinegar
Tuscan kale, also called black kale, dinosaur kale, Lacinato kale, or cavolo nero, has long, narrow, very dark green bumpy leaves and is available at farmers' markets and some supermarkets.j
Whisk 1/4 cup oil, white wine vinegar, sugar, and orange zest in a large bowl to blend; season with salt and pepper. Add kale and shallots; mix until completely coated. Cover and chill until kale is tender, at least 3 hours.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°. Arrange beets in a small baking dish and drizzle with a little oil. Season with salt and turn beets to coat. Cover with foil. Bake beets until tender when pierced with a thin knife, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely. Peel beets. Cut into 1/4-inch pieces (you should have about 2 cups).
Cook barley in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 45 minutes. Drain barley and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet; let cool completely.
Add beets, barley, and feta to kale. Drizzle salad with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar; fold gently to combine. Season to taste with pepper and more rice vinegar, if desired.
DO AHEAD Salad can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.