Farro has recently become very popular. For those unfamiliar with it, farro is an ancient form of wheat. Italians use it often for salads and risotto, prized for its nutty, earthy flavor and chewy, al dente texture. I have cooked farro a variety of ways. For this photo I used Trader Joe’s quick-cooking 10 Minute Farro. You can also cook pearled or semi-pearled farro on the stove in boiling salted water for about 30 minutes. My preferred method, if I have planned ahead, is to cook farro in the slow-cooker in chicken stock with a bay leaf for 1-1/2 hours. This salad highlights fresh spring produce and would be a nice accompaniment to a Mother’s Day dinner. The variations on this salad could include beans, cheese, seafood, and greens, as well as roasted root vegetables.
Spring Farro Salad with Roasted Asparagus and Peas
1 (8 oz.) pkg. 10 minute Farro or 3-1/4 c. cooked farro
1 lb. asparagus (20 spears)
3 large hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 c. cooked peas (you can use defrosted frozen peas)
1 c. chopped prosciutto
3/4 c. chopped grape tomatoes
1/4 c. chopped red onion
1/2 c. chopped flat leaf parsley
salt and pepper
2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place rinsed and dried asparagus spears on a half-sheet baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for 15 minutes or until fork tender. Using 10 minute farro, while the asparagus is cooking bring a 4-quart pot full of salted water to the boil. Add the package of farro and boil 10-12 minutes until tender. Drain. Chop roasted asparagus into 1-inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Add 3-1/4 c. cooked farro, chopped eggs, peas, prosciutto, tomatoes, red onion, and parsley. Toss together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour onto salad. Mix well. Use all of the dressing. Serves 6-8.