Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 cups
1 cup farro
8 spears asparagus, trimmed and peeled
3/4 cup finely sliced fennel (bulb and fronds)
1/4 cup finely sliced shallots
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces baby arugula
1 ounce Parmesan cheese
1. Soak: For farro in the hull, cover with cold water, stir once and let soak, 25 minutes. Drain and rinse. For hulled or “pearled” farro, skip the soak.
2. Plump: Drain the farro, and scoop into a medium saucepan. Add 2 cups cold water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer until tender (like rice), about 30 minutes.
3. Simmer: Meanwhile, settle asparagus in a wide skillet. Cover with cool water. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer until bright green and crisp/tender, about 8 minutes. Drain. Spread out asparagus on a clean kitchen towel to cool. Roll up to dry. Cut into 1-inch lengths.
4. Marinate: In a large serving bowl, toss together asparagus, fennel, shallots, 1/4 cup olive oil and the lemon juice. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.
5. Toss: Scrape cooked farro into the serving bowl and toss. Let rest, 10 minutes. Add arugula and toss. Add salt if you like. Using a vegetable peeler, carve on curls of Parmesan. Enjoy at room temperature.