We’re all holding our breath for Spring here in the South, lured by warm days and humbled by cool nights and frost-covered mornings. And while I find myself anxious, eager and ready to shed winter’s clothes and habits, I’m reminded that nature does not hurry, and neither should we.
Much like the beginning of a new year, I’m declaring this in-between season the perfect time to reflect, to express gratitude and to acknowledge what’s working and let go of what’s not.
And in return, I’ve become grateful for these last few nights of cozying up and I’ve embraced the challenge of creating recipes that quench our thirst for spring while filling our need for warmth and substance.
It’s Farro’s perfect time to shine. And if you’re new to the old world grain, then welcome, read on and I hope you’re inspired to incorporate this powerhouse into your recipes.
Similar in appearance to a wheat berry, farro is more dense than other grains with a chewy texture and mild, nutty taste. It’s a healthy alternative to buckwheat, spelt, barley, quinoa or rice as it’s higher in fiber and packed with protein. Farro is also a great source of iron, B vitamins and magnesium and altogether it will leave you feeling fuller, for longer.
Perhaps the best part about cooking with farro, is you can cook it just like pasta. Simply place a cup or two into a pot, cover with water and boil for the suggested amount of time. Let the little grains roam free and then drain. It’s so simple!
This recipe for Spring Farro Salad balances the grain’s denser texture with a bit of lemon zest, fresh spinach and herbs. I like to give it a light, yet creamy consistency with a bit of Greek Yogurt. Greek Yogurt is so good with lemon and herbs and it really shines with a bit of salt and freshly ground pepper. I like to polish it off with chopped radish, roasted asparagus spears and a beautiful piece of wild salmon.
This is one of my go-to weeknight recipes as it’s quick to make and makes for killer leftovers. As always, I hope you enjoy and thanks for stopping by!
Spring Farro Salad with Lemon Roasted Asparagus and Salmon
- 1 cup farro
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- 2 salmon fillets
- 3 cups spinach
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 lemons, plus zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 bunch dill, (about 1/4 cup of the fronds)
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Rinse and drain the farro. Then, add the farro to a large pot, cover with water (about 3 cups) and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes.
- While the farro is cooking, prepare the asparagus. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the asparagus on a lined baking sheet and toss with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and a healthy squeeze of lemon. Then, place the asparagus in the oven to roast for about 15 minutes.
- While the asparagus is roasting, prepare the spinach. In a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium high heat. Then, add the garlic and cook stirring frequently, about 30 seconds. Lastly, add in the spinach, lemon zest and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Let the spinach wilt, about 2-3 minutes and then remove from the heat.
- Once the asparagus is finished roasting, remove from the oven and set aside. Turn the oven temperature up to 425 degrees F. if you plan to roast your salmon in the oven.
- Once your farro has finished cooking. Drain and place back into the pot. Add in the greek yogurt, spinach mixture, dill and the juice of half a lemon. Then, add in a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. If you like it extra lemony, add in more lemon juice as desired. Cover and set aside while you prepare the salmon.
- You can prepare the salmon on the grill, in a skillet or roast it in the oven on a sheet pan. I usually prefer grilled salmon, but if I’m looking for a crispy outside and flaky inside, I’ll typically get a cast iron skillet nice and hot, add a Tablespoon of oil to the skillet, swirl it around and once it’s hot, I’ll lay my salmon fillets flesh side down. I don’t move or disturb the fillets, and let them develop a nice crust for about 2-3 minutes. Then, I transfer the skillet to an oven preheated at 425 degrees F., and finish cooking the fillets for about 6 minutes. Then, I remove the skillet from the oven and carefully lift the fillets out of the pan. The skin should easily peel off and then you can plate with a bit of lemon juice, pepper and salt.
- Once your salmon has finished cooking, it’s time to plate the dish! Add a heap of the creamy farro salad to your plate, top with the roasted asparagus and salmon and garnish with extra sprigs of dill and a lemon wedge on each plate. Enjoy!!