Monday, May 3, 2010

Saffron Asparagus Salad

Last night I cooked farro in chicken broth for tonight. I used it to make a Saffron Asparagus Salad. I love saffron and asparagus so it was a natural. I got the recipe from She always has wonderful seasonal vegetarian dishes. Abigail found this website and I have made several of her recipes with great results. Here is her link:

Her version uses pasta but since I am trying not to eat much pasta and my family does not like whole wheat pasta I decided to try it with farro instead. It is whole grain wheat and since farro is the Italian name for it I thought it would be a good substitute for pasta. I was right. We did not miss the pasta and we're healthier for it!

Saffron Asparagus Salad my way:

Saffron vinaigrette:

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 medium garlic clove, pressed
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
splash of half and half


1 cup farro
3 cups chicken broth
1 pound thin asparagus, ends trimmed by breaking them off, cut into 1/2-inch segments
4 ounces herbed goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

To make the dressing add the vinegar and saffron to a small saucepan. Over gentle heat bring just to a simmer. Remove from heat (immediately) and let cool.

Mix garlic and salt into a paste in small bowl or glass measuring cup. Add the cooled vinegar and saffron, lemon juice, and mustard. Whisk together, then gradually whisk in the olive oil. Add splash of half and half to balance acidity. Set aside.

Cook farro according to instructions on package in chicken broth. This can be done a day ahead. If you make farro a day ahead bring to room temperature or microwave to get rid of chill.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Cook asparagus for approximately 2 minutes until crisp tender. Drain in colander.

Place the farro in a large bowl, add asparagus and toss with the saffron vinaigrette. I did not use all of the vinaigrette. Save for another use. Taste and add a bit more salt and pepper if needed.

Top with goat cheese and pine nuts. Serve immediately.


1 comment:

  1. Oh Sebia, I love farro. It's such a delicious, nutty grain that a lot of people don't know about. I love the way you've prepared it here, (anything with goat cheese has my name on it!) I tend to go the currant-pine nut & caramelized onion route with mine but will surely try this next. Thanks!