Grilled Asparagus and Lemon Farro Salad is a fresh, satisfying salad with smoky grilled asparagus & lemon, fresh parsley, and shaved parmesan combined with hearty, nutty farro. This salad is perfect as a side dish or makes a fresh,delicious meal all on its own!
Welcome to this week’s edition of Farmer’s Market Friday! This week’s vegetable is none other than: asparagus.
Ahhh, asparagus….the vegetable I adore more than any other. I’m the lone asparagus lover in my household. My husband tolerates it because it’s good for him, and my kids give me faces when it’s on the table. See — selfish me still serves it to my family at dinner knowing full well it’s really only there to please me. Can you blame me? There’s something about those fresh stalks and tender tips that are almost a luxury. Even in season it’s quite costly at a minimum of $4.99/lb., but that doesn’t stop me. There’s no price too high for my asparagus, because when I’m craving it, there is no substitute.
Asparagus is pretty short-lived, between the months of February and June, which is why it was important for me to post this ASAP. Of course you can get it when it’s not in season like anything else, but you’ll be paying an even heftier price tag (up to $8.00/lb.!) and it won’t be fresh because it’s been shipped in from a faraway location. How can you tell if your asparagus is fresh? I’m glad you asked. The tips need to be nice and compact, and the asparagus should be heavy, which means it contains a lot of water — a sure sign of freshness. If it’s light and shriveled-looking, it’s not worth your money.
I’ve been on a farro kick for the past several months, and my husband is totally on board. The kids are kind of on board, but they’re just going to have come out of their comfort zones and keep on trying it. One day they’ll love it…I know it. 😉 I love farro because it’s so chewy and nutty, and it’s a nice gluten-free alternative to pasta. There are so many fabulous grains out there to try, and farro is definitely one right up at the top of the list. It’s perfect for salads such as this, and you can also use it as a stuffing for meat or vegetables wherever you use rice. It cooks up in just 30 minutes, too. I’ve gone on and on about farro like it’s the main attraction here, haven’t I? I can hardly help it — it’s good stuff.
Since asparagus is the star of this Farmer’s Market Friday post, let’s get back to that. My all time favorite way to enjoy asparagus is to grill it. Roasting is great too if you don’t want to fire up the grill — that’s totally your call. Grilling gives it a smoky flavor that can’t be beat, however, so it depends on what kind of flavor you’re going for. I figured I’d grill up the lemon, too, which was a nice touch! Imagine a citrus pop with a smoky flavor, too, and that’s exactly what you get. Just halve the lemon and place it cut side down on the grill until you see grill marks, and squeeze it all over in your farro salad with some extra virgin olive oil. LOVE.
I added plenty of chopped fresh parsley to this salad for maximum freshness, then the shaved parmesan came along to add a salty, nutty bite. This salad has a combination that’s irresistible, and I happily ate it 3 days straight. In fact, on Day 4, I was bummed that it was gone. The farro will absorb the oil, so for best results, add a drizzle more over your leftovers. This farro salad is a great way to highlight asparagus, and I was secretly thankful that everyone in my house isn’t as crazy about asparagus as I am. That meant there was more for me.
- 1 cup farro, cooked according to package instructions
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 6 asparagus stalks, tough bottom part removed
- 1 medium lemon, zested, and halved width-wise
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper, to taste
- shaved parmesan, for serving
- Preheat the grill. Toss the asparagus stalks in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the asparagus for 5 minutes, turning once, or until crisp-tender and slightly charred. While the asparagus is grilling, place the lemons cut-side down on the grill and cook until grill marks form, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place the cooked farro in a serving bowl. Cut the asparagus into 1" pieces on the bias. Add the asparagus, juice of the grilled lemon halves, lemon zest, parsley, remaining olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste to the farro and stir to combine. Serve warm with shaved parmesan. Enjoy!
Total time above includes the cooking time for the farro, which is about 30 minutes. Grill the asparagus and lemon while it cooks or make it ahead for a quick 30 minute meal.
Leftover farro will absorb the olive oil and become dry, so drizzle a bit more as needed.
Recipe by Flavor the Moments.