Just a few ingredients pack a ton of flavor into this farro and shaved asparagus salad. Nutty farro paired with crunchy asparagus, and creamy feta tossed with a bright lemony dressing create a light, yet filling side ready complement all things grilled or summer barbecue.
This was the first weekend that finally felt like spring might arrive in New England. With (slightly) warmer temps, sunshine, and the first blooms making an appearance, I finally have hope that this winter may actually wave goodbye. I can almost feel the late spring and summer nights on our porch dining with a simple, light meal and a crisp glass of sauvignon blanc soaking up all this season has to offer.
Cooking with farro
Farro is one of my favorite whole grains for is slightly nutty flavor and hearty texture. With 6g of plant-based protein and 5g of fiber per 1/2 cup cooked, it’s a filling and satisfying grain. It’s relatively quick to cook compared to some other grains, though I like to shorten it even more by using the 10-minute farro from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods when I can.
Look for farro near the rice or in the bulk bins in most grocery stores. Learn more about the ancient grain farro here.
How to shave asparagus
Shaved asparagus is sweet and crunchy and the perfect complement to the farro and feta cheese. Shave it with a vegetable peeler by starting at the thick end of the stalk and working towards the middle. Once you shave half of one side, shave the other side so you end up with just one small strip in the middle when you’re finished. You can chop that up and add it to the salad as well.
Optional swaps for this salad
Like most of my recipes, this salad is multipurpose and extremely flexible.
Farro: you could use wheat berries, orzo, brown or wild rice, or even quinoa (for a gluten-free option).
Feta cheese: I recommend sheeps milk feta for the creamy, less salty flavor. Goat cheese cheese would also work really well or if you want something with a stronger flavor gorgonzola or blue cheese would add a punch.
Mint: The mint does really add a fresh pop of flavor, but basil, parsley, or dill would work well here too.
How to serve the lemony farro and shaved asparagus salad
This salad is so flexible! It can be eaten warm, cold, or room temperature (perfect for a picnic or summer barbecue).
Make it a main dish and top it with grilled shrimp, salmon, or chicken.
Add white beans like cannelini or Great Northern White Beans to make it a filling vegetarian main.
Did you make this mushroom quinoa blended burger?
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- 1 cup uncooked farro
- 2 cups water
- 1 bunch (about 1lb) asparagus (I used a mix of green and purple, but any color is good. Look for fatter stalks for ease of shaving)
- 1/4 cup sheeps milk feta, crumbled (or goats cheese)
- 2-3 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped (this does not need to be exact – use your judgement on how minty you’d like it)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp honey
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Add farro and water to a small to medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn down heat and let simmer until water has been absorbed, about 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, shave asparagus into ribbons avoiding the tough ends of the stalks.
- Chop mint and crumble cheese.
- Make dressing: whisk together lemon, oil, honey, salt, and pepper.
- When farro is ready, transfer to a bowl and toss with asparagus, mint and dressing. Top with cheese and toss lightly. Serve warm or at room temperature or store in fridge for up to 3 days and serve chilled.