Spring is here, and this salad speaks volumes. Raw baby artichokes have a nutty crispness similar to that of celery root and compliment the bright green crispness of the season's first asparagus and peas. This salad makes a delicious side dish for your Easter dinner.
- 1 1/4 cups semi-pearled farro
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced (1 tsp zest + 2 tbsp fresh juice) + 1 lemon, halved
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb baby artichokes (about 2)
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
- 1/2 cup green peas, blanched
- 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 1/3 cup packed coarsely chopped fresh dill
- 6 oz crumbled feta (about 1/2 cup)
- In a large pot, combine farro with about 3-inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook until the farro is tender, about 25 minutes. (It should have a tender but slightly chewy texture).
- In the bottom of a salad bowl, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, red onion, 2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Drain farro and immediately toss with dressing. Let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, squeeze both halves of remaining lemon into a bowl of water; add the rinds. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, remove all tough outer leaves. With a serrated knife, cut off top 1/2-inch; with a paring knife, trim and peel stem. Very thinly slice lengthwise. (Place back in the lemon water to prevent discolouration).
- Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add asparagus and green peas. Cook for 2 minutes until bright green and slightly tender. Drain and rinse until cold water until cooled. Add to bowl with farro and dressing.
- Drain artichokes, pat dry with paper towels. Toss with farro, mint and dill and vegetables. Serve with feta, additional oil and garnished with more mint and dill.
Makes 8 servings