Spring Lentil & Farro Salad

spring-lentil-&-farro-salad

March 15, 2021




We just returned to Michigan after a month in Florida, and the weather here is decidedly spring-like. Today the temperature will reach the mid-sixties, and although it will cool later in the week, we will have a few warm days to get outside and begin to clean up the yard and clean out the chicken coop after a long cold winter. I have been out in the yard frequently the past couple of days as I try to potty train our new puppy and am thoroughly enjoying the warmer temperatures. Looks like sprimg is just around the corner!

When spring finally comes around, I like to prepare lighter meals, including some that include my favorite spring vegetables, such as asparagus, fava beans, peas, and artichokes. This salad is one that I like to make at the beginning of the week and then enjoy it for a few days for a filling lunch option. Packed with healthy veggies, lentils, farro, and fresh herbs, it really does taste like spring! I use the small French green lentils or beige Italian lentils in this salad as the orange ones are better for soups as they become mushy when cooked. I paired the lentils with some nutty farro for added nutrition and flavor. Like all my salads, I include bright green raw and barely cooked vegetables for color and crunch and tossed everything in a vibrant lemon dressing. This salad stores well in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a few days and is an excellent option for an outdoor picnic as it packs very well. When I cook up any grain, I always double the amount and freeze half to use later. This salad is best served at room temperature which allows the flavors to shine.

Buon Appetito!


Deborah Mele 2021

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups Green or Beige Lentils
  • 1 Cup Farro
  • 3/4 Pound Asparagus, Trimmed, And Cut Into 1-inch Pieces
  • 1 Cup Peas
  • 2 Celery Stalks, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Cup Chopped English Cucumber
  • 5 Green Onions, Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley Leaves, Chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Mint Leaves, Chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Pistachio Nuts, Chopped

Dressing:

  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Finely Minced

Instructions

    1. Rinse the lentils and place in a saucepan covered in lightly salted water.
    2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 to 25 minutes. (You want the lentils tender and just a little chewy).
    3. Prepare the farro in the same way, cooking in lightly salted water for about 20 to 25 minutes until they are “al dente”.
    4. Drain both the lentils and farro and place in a large bowl.
    5. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil and then cook the asparagus and peas until tender crisp, about 3 minutes.
    6. Dump the vegetables into a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process and to keep them bright green.
    7. Drain the vegetables well, then add to the bowl with the lentils along with the celery, cucumber, onions, fresh herbs, and nuts.
    8. In a separate bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients and then pour over the salad.
    9. Toss to coat, then taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
Nutrition Information:

Yield: 8

Serving Size: 1


Amount Per Serving:

Calories: 288Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 126mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 7gSugar: 9gProtein: 8g

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