Happy hump day friends!
Man, am I loving Daylight Savings Time. Well, at first it was a little rough missing out on an hour of sleep, but the fact that it stays light out til 7 o’clock at night, definitely makes up for it!
The temps here in Madison have been soaring (yes, soaring) into the 50s all week, and with the extra daylight, it’s really starting to feel like spring! Yes, I know spring doesn’t officially start until next Friday, but hey, when I can go outside without bundling up like an Eskimo, it’s spring to me.
Besides the higher temperatures and more hours of sunshine, spring also brings new opportunities into the kitchen in the form of seasonal produce! April and May will soon bring produce treasures like crisp carrots, tender leafy greens, sweet peas, and bright stalks of rhubarb and asparagus to farmers’ markets and local grocery stores alike.
This past Sunday, after frolicking along the path by the lake, I was definitely feeling spring. I swear I could have spent all day out there. So when it came time for dinner, I had nothing on my mind but a delicious, light, spring-inspired meal.
I was planning on cooking up a few chicken breasts for the week, so I wanted something that would pair well with that. I also knew I didn’t plan or shop for this dish, so I’d have to make do with whatever I could find at the dining hall and with what I already had in my pantry. Btw, a dorm room bookshelf makes a pretty decent open-shelved pantry if you ask me 😉
After rummaging around my room, I found half a bag of Trader Joe’s 10-minute Farro and a lone can of chicken broth, left over from another recipe. This would make a fabulous base to which I could add whatever my heart desired. Perfect. I packed up my bag of cooking gear and hit up the dining hall salad bar in search of the fresh, spring veggies I was craving.
At the end of the night, I ended up with this.
I tried to come up with a catchy name for it, but, in the end, just settled on calling it Spring Vegetable Farro. Hey, sometimes simpler is better, if you ask me.
This 5 ingredient (salt, pepper and olive oil are freebies) dish is ready in less than 20 minutes and pairs well with chicken, pork, steak, or even fish.
I love how simple, quick, and easy this recipe is, and that just throwing the veggies in with the farro to steam for the last five minutes, leaves them with that perfect, fresh spring-time crunch I was craving. I used carrots and baby spinach (and threw in some dried cranberries just because I love ‘em), but feel free to sub in any of your favorite veggies – just make sure they are thinly sliced – or dried fruit. Heck even some sliced almonds or chopped walnuts would be a tasty topper!
Before we get to the recipe (finally, I know I like to ramble), a quick word about farro! Farro is an ancient whole grain with a sweet and nutty taste. I’d compare it to rice, but chewier and with fewer calories and more fiber!
Trader Joe’s 10-Minute Farro is by far my favorite. It tastes great, is easy to cook, packs a nutritious punch, and is inexpensive ($1.79 for an 8.8 oz bag which contains 4 servings) compared to other quick-cooking varieties I’ve seen at big-box grocery stores. If you’ve never had farro, I highly suggest you pick up a few bags and give it a try. It’s extremely versatile and tastes fabulous in this recipe, stirred into soups, served cold in a salad, or cooked like oatmeal for a warm breakfast treat.
Spring Vegetable Farro
This 20-minute side dish couldn’t be an easier way to welcome in the flavors of spring! Sooo long winter!
Prep Time: 5 minutes – Cook Time: 15 minutes – Serves 2
¾ c quick-cooking farro, such as Trader Joe’s 10 minute Farro
1 ½ c low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (can sub water and season with salt as desired)
1 – 2 t olive oil
½ c shredded carrots, or other favorite vegetable thinly sliced
3 – 4 fistfuls of baby spinach
2 T dried cranberries
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine farro and broth in a medium saucepan with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, wash, dry, and thinly slice vegetables if needed.
- Remove pan from heat. Quickly stir in carrots, spinach, cranberries, and oil, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Fluff farro with a fork and season with salt and pepper as desired.
Questions of the Day:
Have any creative names for this recipe to share?
What are you looking forward to most about spring?
Produce – obvi.
But also walks in the sunshine, long bike rides, and drawing with chalk <— kid at heart.
What is your favorite spring veggie?
Peas – by far.