Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Springtime Farro Salad

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
black pepper

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.
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Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A beautiful and delicious salad! What a great combination.



Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Gorgeous salad!

Chiara Giglio said...

un'insalata sana e gustosa, molto primaverile, buona settimana Linda !

Proud Italian Cook said...

I love this salad, perfect for a picnic, great combinations. I could eat this all week for lunch!

daniela64 said...

Bella , fresca . colorata e ricca di sapore . Una vera delizia la tua insalata di farro. Un abbraccio, Daniela.

Marisa Franca @ Allourway said...

I can feel the healthy ingredients entering my tummy! Beautiful salad and I love the simple dressing -- I really dislike the typical bottled "Italian" dressing that has that yucky after taste. Would be great for July 4th!!

Laney Sachs said...

What a great salad (and healthy, too)! Farro adds that perfect texture-love it!

La Bella Sorella said...

Farro is such a versatile grain for salad dishes and the selection of vegetables you used is perfect. I have a Fall version using roasted butternut squash and a late summer using tomatoes, olives and celery. I look forward to trying Springtime Farro Salad soon.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a lovely salad! I love using grans like farro and bulgar in salads too and the dressing sounds delicious with all of those beautiful, spring veggies.

Frank Fariello said...

Love dishes that are healthy, pretty *and* delicious!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This looks delicious, filling and so healthy, Linda! I know we'll all love it!

Roz Corieri Paige said...

Mmmmm, such a healthy salad! I need to use farro more often, that's for sure! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the lemon caper sauce! I hope that your friends will too!

Nancy's Notes said...

I'm all for a healthy salad and this one is for me! I really love salads, not just when I'm trying to lose a few! I'm so happy I found your blog!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

What a beautiful salad!

Zaza@Simple and Delicious said...

Love asparagus, snap peas, artichoke, lima beans! Great combo! This looks delicious!