Grilled Asparagus and Lemon Farro Salad {Farmer’s Market Friday}

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!

grilled asparagus and lemon farro salad1

Welcome to this week’s edition of Farmer’s Market Friday!  This week’s vegetable is none other than: asparagus. :)

grilled asparagus and lemon farro salad

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. :)

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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.

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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. :)

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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.

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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. :)

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Grilled Asparagus and Lemon Farro Salad {Farmer’s Market Friday}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
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!
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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!
The best way to remove the tough bottom stems from the asparagus is to leave the asparagus bunch in the rubber bands and cut off the bottom third of the whole bunch at once.

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.


    • says

      I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the cheapest asparagus can be found is pretty much $2.99 but that’s rare. You’re so lucky it’s such a great price there, Melanie! Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend! :)

    • says

      Farro is such a nice alternative to pasta and quinoa, and I’m glad to hear you know what I’m talking about, Helen! Asparagus is certainly a luxury here for the price, but so worth it. Have a lovely weekend, and thanks for the pin! :)

  1. says

    Asparagus is my most very favorite vegetable on the planet. I’ve learned to never look at the price tag – regardless of what it costs – I just grab a bunch. When you like something and have to have it, you make it work! This looks amazing Marcie! Look @ it this way – if you’re family doesn’t like it – all the more for yourself. I say that alone is worth it!
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  2. says

    Asparagus is one of my favorites too and I can’t get enough of it when it’s in season :) Love that you are showcasing it with this farro salad. Everything looks so fresh and pretty and sounds perfect for spring and summer!

  3. says

    Asparagus is one of my all-time favorite veggies, as well. We’ve been stocking up (I almost wrote “stalking up”, haha!) since I know it’ll be gone soon. Now that I’ve got all this asparagus, and just bought some farro, I have a feeling I’ll be making this soon. The combination of bright flavors and different textures looks wonderful, Marcie!
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