Asparagus at the market is a sure sign of spring. Serve this salad of farro, asparagus, and shiitake mushrooms in miso dressing warm or at room temperature. Or make it in advance and bring it to a party. The bold flavors and heartiness of the farro mean the salad can stand alone or be served alongside a variety of meats and poultry.
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|1||bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, stalks cut into 2-inch pieces|
|1½||cups semi-pearled farro|
|5||tablespoons olive oil|
|4||cups shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced|
|2||cloves garlic, finely chopped|
|2||tablespoons sherry vinegar|
|1||tablespoon yellow miso|
|½||cup chopped fresh parsley|
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Have on hand a large bowl filled with ice and a small amount of water. Add asparagus to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes or until tender. With tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer asparagus to the ice water (do not drain the water). When the asparagus are cool, pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Return the asparagus cooking water to a boil. Add the farro and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until it is tender but still has some bite. Drain and let the farro cool slightly. Tip it into the bowl of asparagus.
3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer to the bowl of farro.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together sherry vinegar, miso, salt, and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil. Add the dressing to the farro with the parsley. Toss well. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.
Karoline Boehm Goodnick