Easy to prepare and studded with colourful vegetables, this healthy salad is hearty enough for a summer main course. The slightly chewy farro has a delightful nutty flavour, enhanced by the light vinaigrette. It travels well for picnic season, too!
Farro, or wheatberry, as its also known, has been found in the tombs of Egyptian kings and reputedly fed the Roman Legions. Ancient grain indeed! Its satisfying chewy texture and nutty undertones make it a wonderful base for many vegetable combinations, from artichokes and olives to asparagus and tomatoes.
For the vinaigrette
- 7.5 ml or 1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- 30 ml 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (one lemon)
- 15 ml or tbsp white wine vinegar
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 80 ml or 1/3 c good quality olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
- 240 g or 1 c farro, rinsed
- 300 g or ¾ lb fresh asparagus, trimmed
- 150 g or 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 85 g or ¾ c walnuts, chopped
- 120 g or ¾ c dried cherries
- 12 g or ¼ c fresh chives, chopped
- 2 c fresh mesclun greens or Boston Lettuce
Make the vinaigrette
- Add all the ingredients to a small container with a tight lid. Shake until thoroughly emulsified.
Make the salad
- In a medium pot over high heat, bring 4 c of salted water to a brisk boil. Stir in the rinsed farro and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium; cook the farro, stirring occasionally, until it is tender but al dente (20–30 minutes). Drain and allow to cool.
- Bring a skillet filled with lightly salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and simmer until tender (2-3 minutes). Drain and immediately plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking. Once cold, drain the asparagus and pat dry before chopping into 1” pieces.
- In a medium bowl, gently toss the cooked farro, asparagus, walnuts, dried cherries and chives.
- Just before serving, plate the greens and top with a scoop of the farro mixture. Drizzle with vinaigrette to taste.
Salad adapted from Duncan, Allrecipes.com
Dressing adapted from Julia Child