This is a variation of our grain salad base recipe. Full of vibrant colors and fresh vegetables, this warm farro salad with spring veggies is pleasing to the eye and the palate. The combination of ingredients in this recipe also creates a little taste of spring!
Three Must-Know Cooking Skills
For recipe success, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for the Best Warm Farro Salad
Use leftover cooked farro or look for quick-cooking varieties to make the recipe come together faster. For added nuttiness, toast the farro before adding the water.
Look for quick cooking farro at your local grocery store – ready in just 10 minutes!
Asparagus stems have a natural breaking point. Bend the stem end, and it will snap off at the perfect spot, leaving the woody part behind.
Be sure to use a small garlic clove; too much raw garlic can be overpowering.
This recipe features a technique called blanching. Briefly submerge a food (in this case asparagus and snap peas) in boiling water. The goal is not to cook them, but to brighten their colors! Dunking them in an ice bath stops the cooking process and prevents the vegetables from turning an unappealing olive green color. A cooking tool called a spider is ideal for fishing the asparagus and snap peas out of the boiling water.
- Farro: any whole grain will work, but we recommend against oats. Choose intact whole grains that keep their shape like brown rice, quinoa, barley, wheat berries, and spelt. Refined grains like white rice can be subbed, but the salad won’t be quite as nutritious.
- Vegetables: we recommend sticking to fresh vegetables for this recipe, but frozen can be substituted if necessary. If asparagus isn’t in season, green beans are a good substitute!
- Shallot: substitute red onion.
- Fresh Dill: substitute other herbs such as basil, chives, or parsley. However, we highly recommend dill; it compliments the spring vegetables very well!
- Dressing: any store bought or homemade vinaigrette dressing can work. If using a store bought dressing, choose one with ingredients you recognize. Pesto would also be delicious in this recipe.
Want more protein in your grain salad? Add some drained and rinsed navy or garbanzo beans.
Want a bit more crunch? Mix in some toasted nuts or sunflower seeds.
Want some grain salad recipe inspiration?
Use our grain salad base recipe as a guide, or check out these tasty variations!
Use these kitchen tools for recipe success!
- Cutting Board
- Chef’s Knife
- 3-quart Saucepan
- Fine Mesh Strainer
- Liquid Measuring Cup
- Dry Measuring Cups & Spoons
- Mixing Bowl
- Storage Container
Find all of our favorite kitchen tools here!
Are Grain Salads Healthy?
This grain salad features farro, spring vegetables, and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing – all healthy ingredients!
Whole grains like farro are a good source of fiber, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Fiber is important for digestion, satiety, stable blood sugar, good cholesterol, and healthy gut bacteria. Phytonutrients work as antioxidants to help fight off diseases and keep us well.
Just like whole grains, vegetables are a good source of fiber, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Different colored vegetables provide different phytonutrients, so consuming a variety of colors is ideal. This recipe features seasonal spring vegetables – asparagus and sugar snap peas. Using seasonal produce maximizes taste, nutrition, and price!
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
A healthy vinaigrette dressing made from extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar adds flavor and nutrition. The fats in vinaigrette help your body absorb certain nutrients in the salad, so avoid fat-free varieties. For optimal nutrition, make the balsamic vinaigrette yourself.
Learn more about health benefits of different foods and ingredients in our book, To Your Taste!
Serving Suggestions for Spring Salad
Although technically a warm farro salad, this recipe can also be served cold as a light, plant-forward meal. It’s also a great side to another dish, like our baked pesto salmon or simple turkey meatballs to create a beautiful Whole Life Plate.
Store leftover farro salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. For optimal freshness, add the tomatoes on the day you plan to eat the salad.
Want more healthy salad recipes?
Check out these easy recipe ideas!
Warm Farro Salad with Spring Veggies
- ¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette
- 1 cup farro
- 3 cups water or vegetable stock
- 6 asparagus stalks
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup sugar snap peas
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 small shallot, diced (~¼ cup)
- 1 small garlic clove, minced (~½ teaspoon)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- If making your own balsamic vinaigrette, whisk together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Rinse and drain farro. Place in a pot and add water or vegetable stock. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes or until al dente (tender but firm). Drain off any excess liquid. Place in the bowl with the vinaigrette to cool slightly.
- Snap off woody ends of asparagus and cut into one-inch pieces. Slice sugar snap peas in half.
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Add asparagus and snap peas. Cook for 2 minutes. Immediately drain and submerge in an ice bath. Once cool, drain.
- Place vegetables, feta cheese, chopped herbs, shallot, and garlic in the bowl with the farro and vinaigrette. Using a spatula, fold until well-combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!