Spring vegetables - asparagus, peas, artichokes and scallions - are the stars in this farro salad, but it gets some added color and flavor from the red peppers and a little more texture from the hazelnuts too. It's the kind of salad that's really easy to make ahead of time, so it's perfect for taking to a large gathering, as I did with this one yesterday when my Italian chit-chat group held its annual picnic.
Cook the farro in boiling water, but not too long or it will be mushy. I bought a brand that required only 15 minutes cooking time. While it was cooking, I chopped up the vegetables, some of which are parboiled (asparagus, lima beans and snap peas). Others are used fresh (scallions), and some came right from a can (artichoke hearts and red peppers).
This is the kind of salad where amounts (and even ingredients) don't have to be exact. You don't like artichoke hearts? Leave them out. You like broccoli instead? Add that.
I meant to toss in some chunks of parmesan cheese, but completely forgot. It didn't need it, but if it had the cheese, you could consider this a full meal, with complete proteins.
Toss it with some extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and a generous amount of salt and pepper, serve with some salad greens and you've got a healthy, delicious side dish, or main course.
Springtime Farro Salad
printable recipe here
2 1/4 cups farro
7 cups water
1 bunch asparagus (about 1 1/2 cups, cut up)
1 cup snap peas, cut in pieces
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup frozen lima beans, cooked
7 oz. jar red peppers, cut into pieces
1/2 cup scallions, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup parsley,minceed
1/2 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. honey
Cook the farro in the water for about 15 minutes or until cooked. It should have some "bite" to it.
Drain excess water and let the farro cool. Cut the asparagus and snap peas into large pieces. In a pot of boiling, salted water, drop the lima beans and cook for five minutes. After the five minutes are up, drop the asparagus and snap peas into the water. Cook for about one or two minutes, then drain all the vegetables and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain the artichoke hearts and rinse in cold water. Drain the red peppers and cut into chunks.
Mix the farro with all the vegetables, the parsley and the hazelnuts.
Mix all the ingredients for the dressing. Pour the dressing over all and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste.