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.
Deborah Mele 2021
- 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
- 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
- Rinse the lentils and place in a saucepan covered in lightly salted water.
- 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).
- Prepare the farro in the same way, cooking in lightly salted water for about 20 to 25 minutes until they are "al dente".
- Drain both the lentils and farro and place in a large bowl.
- Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil and then cook the asparagus and peas until tender crisp, about 3 minutes.
- Dump the vegetables into a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process and to keep them bright green.
- Drain the vegetables well, then add to the bowl with the lentils along with the celery, cucumber, onions, fresh herbs, and nuts.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients and then pour over the salad.
- 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