In case you’ve missed the PSAs all over Instagram, Bon Appetit, and pretty much every other news outlet, asparagus is now in season. I’ve been *mistakenly* eating it all winter, so this spring asparagus party is a bit anti-climactic for me.
But I’ve always been one for FOMO, so I’ve been looking for ways to get reenergized about spring’s favorite veggie. Solution: eat it raw and revel in it’s in-season glory.
This raw asparagus and farro salad is lemony and herby, and tastes like spring has sprung. The farro adds a nice chewiness, making this salad surprisingly filling.
The key to raw asparagus is slicing it super thin so that the slices are practically shavings. One trick to avoiding those tough ends: snap the asparagus in half. It naturally breaks where the tough ends are, removing all guess work.
I’ve served this as a side dish with my slow roasted paprika lemon chicken, or alone as a light springy dinner with a yolky egg.
Lemony Herby Raw Asparagus and Farro Salad
This lemony, herby raw asparagus and farro salad is light and springy, yet filling enough for a full meal with the addition of the chewy farro. Add some toasted hazelnuts for crunch and parmesan or nutritional yeast, and you have the perfect side or light main. Recipe adapted from the Six Seasons cookbook.
- 1/2 cup farro uncooked and cook per instructions, or about 1 cup cooked farro
- 1 lb asparagus ends removed and thinly cut on a bias
- 1-2 lemons zested and juiced I prefer this salad extra lemony, but start with one lemon and add more if necessary after the initial taste test
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper Aleppo pepper is a Middle Eastern red pepper flake that can be found at specialty food stores or Amazon. Use 1/4 tsp chili flakes if you want more heat or don't have Aleppo
- parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast to taste optional
Cook the farro per the packaging instructions and let cool.
If hazelnuts are raw and untoasted, roast them for a few minutes in a 350 degree F oven. They should become fragrant. This step might sound unnecessary but it takes 5 minutes and makes everything better. Always toast nuts for salads and toppings!
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Taste and adjust as necessary.
Aleppo pepper is the best and can be found at many specialty food stores or on Amazon.