Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Farro Salad w/Asparagus and Parmesan

Farro is probably my most favorite grain, just edging out wheatberries.  I love the chewy texture.  And, for me, it's a wonderfully delicious and nutritious snack alternative to chips.

I've kinda gotten away from the complex carbs and I don't know why.  For those of us who lean toward savory vs sweet, this is a fabulous choice.  Use it in place of rice and add just about anything you like.  With kale the darling of the nutrition world, I don't understand why this grain hasn't gotten the press.  But then, I usually root for the underdog.


1 cup farro
1/4 to 1/2 pound asparagus, thick bottoms snapped off
1/2 cup red and/or orange grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 to 1/2 cup walnuts, halved or chopped
1/4 cup (more if desired) dried cranberries
fresh parsley, chopped, amount to taste
fresh chives, chopped, amount to taste
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, more or less to taste
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago cheese, divided

First: A note about cooking the farro:

1) Soak the farro covered with water overnight.  Drain and rinse.  Bring a pot of salted water to boil, add overnight-soaked farro.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat.  After about 5-10 minutes, start testing farro.  Mine didn't take long using this method.....way less than without the soaking.  Farro is a chewy grain, so cook it to your texture-liking.  Drain and allow to cool.


2) Fill a pot with salted water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Add the farro and bring back to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and then cook uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and continue simmering until tender, about 30 minutes more.  Drain and allow to cool.

Bring another pot of water to a boil.  Add the asparagus and cook uncovered until tender, about 2-3 minutes, depending on the diameter of the stalks (you can also microwave-steam them if that's a method you're comfortable with).  

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