The overnight sensation takes time. Consider farro. The chewy grain turns up everywhere. It stars in soup, salad and sweet. It doubles for rice, for barley, for pasta. It poses in this salad bristling with asparagus and fennel, Insta-glam.
This recipe by Leah Eskin originally appreared in The Chicago Tribune.
- 1 Cup farro
- Kosher salt
- 8 spears asparagus, trimmed and peeled
- 3/4 Cups finely sliced fennel (bulb and fronds)
- 1/4 Cup finely sliced shallots
- 1/4 Cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 Ounces baby arugula
- 1 Ounce Parmesan cheese
Step 1: For farro in the hull, cover 1 cup farro with cold water, stir once and let soak, 25 minutes. Drain and rinse. For hulled or "pearled" farro, skip the soak.
Step 2: Drain the farro, and scoop into a medium saucepan. Add 2 cups cold water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer until tender (like rice), about 30 minutes.
Step 3: Meanwhile, settle 8 asparagus spears in a wide skillet. Cover with cool water. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer until bright green and crisp/tender, about 8 minutes. Drain. Spread out asparagus on a clean kitchen towel to cool. Roll up to dry. Cut into 1-inch lengths.
Step 4: In a large serving bowl, toss together asparagus, 3/4 cups sliced fennel, 1/4 cup finely sliced shallots, 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.
Step 5: Scrape cooked farro into the serving bowl and toss. Let rest, 10 minutes. Add 4 ounces arugula and toss. Add salt if you like. Using a vegetable peeler, carve on curls of Parmesan. Enjoy at room temperature.