Farro Salad with Asparagus, Snap Peas, and Tomatoes

Cooking farro in plenty of boiling water ensures tender grains that are ready to be paired with fresh vegetables.

Farro Salad with Asparagus, Snap Peas, and Tomatoes
SERVES 4 to 6 VEG
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS When we decided to turn farro into a hearty, fresh salad, we wondered if we could bypass the traditional step of soaking the grains overnight and then cooking them gradually for over an hour in favor of a simpler, quicker method. After testing out a few cooking techniques, we learned that boiling the grains in plenty of salted water and then draining them yielded nicely firm but tender farro—no soaking necessary. To make sure this salad looked as good as it tasted, we briefly boiled bite-size pieces of asparagus and snap peas to bring out their vibrant color and crisp-tender bite. A lemon-dill dressing served as a citrusy, herbal complement to the earthy farro. Cherry tomatoes and feta cheese offered a fresh, full-flavored finish. For a simple variation, we also created a version with cucumber, yogurt, and mint. We prefer the flavor and texture of whole farro; pearled farro can be used, but the texture may be softer. Do not use quick-cooking or presteamed farro (read the ingredient list on the package to determine this) in this recipe. The cooking time for farro can vary greatly among different brands, so we recommend beginning to check for doneness after 10 minutes.

6 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
6 ounces sugar snap peas, strings removed, cut into 1-inch lengths
Salt and pepper
1½ cups whole farro
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
6 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (½ cup)

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. Add asparagus, snap peas, and 1 tablespoon salt and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to large plate and let cool completely, about 15 minutes.
2. Add farro to water, return to boil, and cook until grains are tender with slight chew, 15 to 30 minutes. Drain farro, spread in rimmed baking sheet, and let cool completely, about 15 minutes.
3. Whisk oil, lemon juice, shallot, mustard, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper together in large bowl. Add vegetables, farro, tomatoes, dill, and ¼ cup feta and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to serving platter and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup feta. Serve.

VARIATION
Farro Salad with Cucumber, Yogurt, and Mint
SERVES 4 to 6 VEG
We prefer the flavor and texture of whole farro; pearled farro can be used, but the texture may be softer. Do not use quick-cooking or presteamed farro (read the ingredient list on the package to determine this) in this recipe. The cooking time for farro can vary greatly among different brands, so we recommend beginning to check for doneness after 10 minutes.

1½ cups whole farro
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced shallot
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch pieces
6 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup baby arugula
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. Add farro and 1 tablespoon salt, return to boil, and cook until grains are tender with slight chew, 15 to 30 minutes. Drain farro, spread in rimmed baking sheet, and let cool completely, about 15 minutes.
2. Whisk oil, lemon juice, shallot, yogurt, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper together in large bowl. Add farro, cucumber, tomatoes, arugula, and mint and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

 

 

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