Farro, an ancient grain, has long been a common ingredient in Italy, but it is now gaining in popularity in the United States. You can use farro to make a type of risotto or in soups, but dressed with a lemony vinaigrette, it makes a lovely grain salad, enhanced by a variety of green vegetables.
- Serves: 4 persons
- ½pound skinny green beans (haricots verts), topped and tailed
- ½pound sugar snap peas or snow peas, topped and tailed
- 1cup farro
- 3tablespoons finely diced shallots
- Salt and pepper
- 3tablespoons lemon juice
- 1teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½pound medium to large asparagus, tough ends snapped off
- 2medium firm, ripe avocados
- A handful of basil leaves
Step 1Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add green beans and snap peas, and cook for 1 minute. Fish out the beans with a spider, mesh strainer or slotted spoon. Rinse briefly in cool water, then blot on a kitchen towel and set aside.
Step 2Add farro to the pot, and cook until al dente, 15 to 20 minutes, then drain and spread out on a baking sheet or platter to cool.
Step 3As the farro cooks, make the vinaigrette: Put shallots in a small bowl. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, lemon juice and zest, and leave for 5 minutes, then whisk in olive oil.
Step 4Season the farro lightly with salt and pepper. Drizzle with half the vinaigrette, toss and mound.
Step 5Slice the asparagus in very thin, lengthwise ribbons with a thin-bladed knife or mandolin and place in a medium-size bowl. Add cooked green beans, snap peas and thick slices of avocado. Salt lightly, add remaining vinaigrette and toss gently to coat.
Step 6Arrange dressed vegetables over farro, garnish with basil leaves and serve.