Warm farro salad tossed with asparagus, fava beans, balsamic roasted tomatoes and goat cheese.

Warm Farro Salad with Spring Vegetables - The Wimpy Vegetarian


Going back and forth between the mountains and the Bay Area this time of year gives me food cravings whiplash. In the Bay Area, we’re well into spring with heaps of fresh asparagus, fava beans, strawberries, and spring onions at every farmer’s market. The days are warm and sunny, putting me in the mood for salads and grilled veggies. A quick three-hour drive puts us in the mountains, and we emerge from a warm car to step into a blustery day, spitting snow showers. Suddenly I’m craving something warm and hearty at the table. I find that this dish is a great way to straddle the seasons with the heavy fullness of the farro with the lightness of spring vegetables, all brought together with a little goat cheese and fresh thyme.



Warm Farro Salad with Spring Vegetables

      by Susan Pridmore


  • 1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine, divided (I recommend Savignon Blanc)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 20 pods of fava beans
  • 1 cup uncooked farro
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper


Bring 5 cups of water, 1 cup of white wine, garlic cloves and salt to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the asparagus spears. Simmer until just tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the asparagus from the water and set aside to cool. Keep the water!

While the asparagus is simmering, shell the fava beans. Once the asparagus is removed from the water, put the favas in, bring back to a simmer, and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove, again keeping the water. Place the favas in a bowl with some cold water to help them cool quickly.

Measure out 1 1/2 cups of the water used for the asparagus and fava beans and set aside. Pour out the rest of the water, and pour back in the reserved 1 1/2 cups.

Bring to a light simmer and add the farro. Simmer until the farro is al dente, about 20 minutes.

While the farro is cooking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and toss in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Roast for 15 minutes. Set aside.

While the tomatoes are roasting, shell the fava beans again. The best way to do that is to pinch one end to remove the piece of the outer skin, and squeeze the fava bean inside the skin through the opening. Set aside.

Slice the asparagus on the diagonal into 1″ slices. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the shallot, garlic, and spring onions. When softened and very fragrant, add the asparagus, fava beans, tomatoes and cooked farro. Toss together and cook for 2 minutes to combine the flavors.

Add the goat cheese and heavy cream, and cook until the goat cheese melts through the farro. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle thyme and mint and toss.

Finish the dish with a the sherry and lemon juice

Season to taste.

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26 Responses to “Warm Farro Salad with Spring Vegetables” Subscribe

  1. gluttonforlife April 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    Sounds delicious! Makes me homesick for the early springs of my childhood in Santa Cruz. My husband can’t eat gluten, so I guess a version of this with quinoa or brown rice would work, right?

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 28, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

      Thanks Laura. Quinoa would work wonderfully with this – I would just add a little more lemon and eliminate the balsamic vinegar and sherry. Brown rice would just be a clean substitution. Hope you like it!

  2. Renee April 28, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    Love farro and everything in this salad. Definitely a recipe keeper!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 28, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

      Thanks so much Renee! This salad makes me feel so good afterwards. Hope you have a chance to try it:-)

  3. Suzi April 28, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    This looks fantastic, I love those fresh veggies. I miss the Bay area, I used to live in San Francisco, went back for a visit a couple of years ago and still love it there.

  4. Rosemary April 28, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

    Very clever how you’ve straddled the climates. And roasted cherry tomatoes are perfect in any recipe!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

      Thanks Rosemary. I agree – I add roasted cherry tomatoes to so many things. It adds such a nice umami flavor to vegetarian dishes.

  5. lapadia April 28, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    “Climate whiplash”, ha, love that. I haven’t been traveling but the weather has been switching up throughout the week. Spring is trying its best to dominate, we are starting to get fresh asparagus and I am always looking for new ideas to use it! Thanks for the idea :)

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

      I’ve tried to grow asparagus a couple times now without success. I love it so much, I thought this would be a great way to have it available all spring at my fingertips — literally. But no go. But I’m always looking for ways to use it too:-)

  6. L.Michelle April 29, 2012 at 4:03 am #

    what is farro?

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

      I should have added a little explanation as to what it is – thanks for the idea to do that. It’s a wheat whole grain. I use it interchangeable with barley. The flavor, appearance, and texture are very similar.

  7. Rita Held April 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Tasty! Now I can use up the last of the farro in my cupboard (that which I bought last fall).

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 29, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

      Thanks Rita. I keep a container of cooked farro and one of cooked quinoa in my refrigerator all the time now so I can just throw some into a salad or mix it into casseroles or other veggies. That’s actually how I came up with this, and now it’s in regular rotation since Myles likes it too.

  8. Norma Chang April 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    Adding wine to the blanching water is new to me, must give that a try. A very colorful and satisfying salad.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

      Thanks Norma. I’ve made it with and without it, and including the wine really adds something to the entire dish from the asparagus to the farro. If I’m running out of water towards the end of cooking the farro, instead of adding water, I’ll add a little more of the wine.

  9. The Wimpy Vegetarian April 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    Thanks so much Suzanne. Hope you had a great time with your grandkids! This is a great way to use farro, and one of my favorite ways these days. Hope you have a chance to try it :-)

  10. Baker Street April 30, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    This would be a great way to use up my left over farro! Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe. The salad looks fantastic.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 30, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

      Thanks so much!! I hope you have a chance to try it – it’s definitely one of my favorite recipes for farro. Even my husband likes it :-)

  11. Yve April 30, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    Great recipe – haven’t done a lot of cooking with farro but definitely think it qualifies in the sexy vegetarian books! Love the use of goats cheese :)

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian April 30, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

      I confess I hadn’t tried farro until I was in culinary school a few years ago. I found that I really liked it and have been playing with it and barley ever since. It’s the new black – everyone’s wanting to work with it now :-) Thanks so much for stopping by and for your comment, Yve!

  12. Lynda - TasteFood May 1, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    What a beautiful dish! I love the balance of nutty farro with all of these fresh spring ingredients.

  13. Bevi May 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    I just roasted some cherry tomatoes – and will get some farro to make this dish. this is year one for our asparagus patch – it doesn’t look too great, but I guess I have to wait patiently for a few more years.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 2, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

      Well, your asparagus patch is doing better than mine did. My asparagus plant did wonderful as long as it was in a pot in my very sunny, warm kitchen window. But as soon as it was planted in the ground, it went downhill. I don’t think it’s sunny enough here in the foggy summers we get. Luckily we have farms nearby in sunnier micro-climates. I hope you like this dish – we just love it!

  14. Hannah May 9, 2012 at 9:55 am #

    This is a fabulous salad! I wish I could spoon a big scoop right out of your beautiful photo – such a tempting dish. Farro is a terrific grain to use – thanks for the inspiration!

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