Oh you guys…you guys. There are no words. This salad is something else. I mean it when I say it is one of my very favorite dishes I prepare. Farro is one of those forgotten grains that I swear you will fall in love with. It’s hearty, full of vitamins and minerals and the texture is just plain awesome. If cooked properly, as in this recipe, it has an awesome chew to it…no mush like quinoa or couscous can give you. This salad is a one dish meal filed with fiber, nutrients, protein and so incredibly much taste it will knock your flip flops off (i can say that, right? We haven’t had snow in over a month.) It’s also wonderful to take to a potluck or picnic…it can sit at room temperature and is such a crowd pleaser! The texture of the farro accompanied by the sweetness of the corn, the freshness of the basil and asparagus, the savory chicken and the tart goat cheese…well..I’ll leave the rest up to you.
Spring Farro Salad
*notes: Farro is simple to find and is available in the natural section of every market I’ve been to. You could also substitute frozen corn in here..but the fresh corn, to me, is one of the best parts about this salad
Adapted by this recipe
1 Cup Semi-Pearled Farro or Spelt Berries
2 Ears Corn
1 Pound Asparagus, woody ends removed
1 Pound Chicken Breasts
4 Ounces Fresh Goat Cheese, crumbled
1 Avocado, diced
1/3 Cup Olive Oil + more for drizzling asparagus and chicken
1/4 Cup White Wine Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Minced Yellow Onion
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil
1 Heaping Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Preheat the grill to medium high. Bring a 4 quart pot of water to a boil. Stir in the farro, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes or until the farro is a firm texture but cooked through; drain.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, onion, basil, dijon and salt. Or add all ingredients to a small jar and shake well. Set aside.
While the farro is cooking, drizzle the chicken breasts and asparagus with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Place the chicken, asparagus and ears of corn on the grill. Cook the chicken for 15 minutes or until cooked through, turning once in between. Cook the corn until the kernels begin to lightly char, turning often, about 5 minutes. Cook the asparagus until crisp tender, turning often, 3-4 minutes. Remove the chicken, corn and asparagus and let cool slightly. Chop the chicken and asparagus into bite sized pieces and slice the corn off of the ears with a sharp knife.
Pour the farro into a large bowl and add in the chicken, corn, asparagus, goat cheese and avocado. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the top and toss lightly to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Can be made one day ahead. Serves 4-6.