Taproot at Home :: Spring Farro Salad

We are walking through these challenging days right now, but let's do it together, shall we? We want to offer for your home (and hearts) some of the goodness that has been inside the pages of Taproot Magazine while many of us are at home for an extended and indefinite period of time. We've gathered recipes, craft projects, and activities that we hope will keep you making, doing, and dreaming (and eating too!), all of which we'll be sharing here in this space each week. [Visit the Welcome post for more details]

Spring Farro Salad

Recipe by Kaity Farrell
Originally published in Issue 28::GRAIN.

Whole grains are a versatile staple in our kitchen. From porridge for breakfast to warm sides at dinner, from whole-meal flours to sprouted microgreens, grains are a huge part of our diet. One of my favorite ways to eat regular cooked whole grains is in hearty grain salads. Whole grains have a nutty, wholesome flavor that serves as a great base for seasonal veggies and flavors. Farro is a canvas for the spring flavors of sugar snap peas, asparagus, and artichokes. And maybe the best part: whole grains salads keep well in the fridge, ready to grab and go throughout the week during this busy time of the year.

Serves 4.

Ingredients
1 cup pearled farro
2¼ cups water
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar snap peas (whole pods)
4 asparagus spears
4 marinated artichoke hearts
3 or 4 strawberries
1 cup packed baby arugula
1 cup thinly sliced radicchio 
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
¼ cup halved pitted olives of choice
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
Edible flowers such as pansies, for garnish (optional)

For the Herb Shallot Dressing:
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons minced fresh mint
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon fresh lemon zest
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine the farro, water, and salt in a medium saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until cooked through. (It will have a chewy bite.) Drain off any extra liquid and dump the cooked farro into a large bowl.
  2. To make the dressing, combine all the dressing ingredients in a pint-sized jar with a tight-fitting lid, cover, and shake vigorously until emulsified, about 30 seconds. Pour about three-quarters of the dressing over the farro while it is still warm and toss. 
  3. Bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil, and fill a medium bowl with ice water. Trim the sugar snap peas and blanch them in the boiling water for 30 seconds, drain, and then immediately plunge them into the ice bath. (“Shocking” the blanched peas in cold water will help them retain their bright green color.) If you like, open the pea pods along the seams to reveal the peas. Set aside.
  4. Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus spears. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the asparagus into long ribbons or, alternatively, cut the spears into smaller pieces on the diagonal. Set aside.
  5. Cut the artichoke hearts into quarters. Slice the strawberries most of the way through, leaving them attached at the crown, or remove the hulls and slice. Set aside.
  6. Add arugula and radicchio to the farro in the bowl and toss. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if needed. Transfer the farro mixture to a serving platter or bowl. Top with the snow peas, asparagus, artichokes, strawberries, radishes, and olives. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the top of the salad and garnish with fresh basil leaves and edible flowers. Enjoy! And store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


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