Farro Salad with Green Garlic Pesto and Spring Delights!

A recipe by Marigold Cooking Collective

Serves 8 with leftovers

This recipe is very versatile, you can replace the asparagus with whatever seasonal vegetable you are most excited about – zucchini, snap peas, shelling peas, tomatoes, roasted peppers, really whatever you like! And the pesto can be made with whatever fresh herbs you enjoy and look best at the market – parsley, basil, mint, you could even use arugula or kale! Using the Petite Suisse cheese makes this pesto exceptionally creamy and rich. You can also use chevre or fromage blanc. If you feel like making a more traditional pesto with parmesan and nuts, it will also be delicious! 


3 cups uncooked farro (Lonesome Whistle) – soak overnight in water 

1 bunch asparagus

½ pint fiddlehead ferns 

Pea tendrils or sprouts 

½ pint snap peas 


For the pesto: 

4 meyer lemons 

¼ lb nettles, picked from the stem 

½ pint Garlic and Herb Petite Suisse from La Mariposa 

1 bunch green garlic 

½ cup olive oil 




To cook the farro:

  1. Soak the farro overnight in water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add in the farro, cook until tender 30-50 minutes. The farro from Lonesome Whistle takes less time than most other store bought farro, just make sure it has a, tender texture. Strain the farro and rinse it in cold water.

Prepare the vegetables:

  1. With a vegetable peeler, peel ribbons of asparagus and place them in a bowl of ice water. Peel as much as you can, and place the remaining pieces of asparagus on griddle. You only need a handful of the shaved asparagus ribbons for garnishing. Peeling the thickest pieces of asparagus is optimal and easier.
  2. On a large griddle, grill or cast iron pan on high heat, cook the asparagus and fiddlehead ferns with a touch of olive oil and salt until they are done to your likeness. I like my asparagus to have just a slight bend in it, not too floppy!
  3. Chop up the pea shoots/sprouts into bite sized pieces
  4. Char half of the green garlic until it is blistered and tender

Make the Pesto:

  1. Chop up the charred and fresh green garlic and place it in the blender with nettles, petite suisse, zest and juice from two lemons and olive oil and blend until smooth. If you are having trouble blending, don’t hesitate to add a little water. Taste and adjust salt to your liking.


  1. Chop the cooked asparagus and fiddlehead ferns into bite sized pieces.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and taste to adjust seasoning. You will probably need to add more lemon juice and salt. It should be creamy, tangy and delicious. Like a giant bowl of springtime!

This grain salad will last for a week in the fridge and will make an amazing snack. It makes a delicious lunch or side dish for a fish or chicken dinner.