Dean Richards shares an easy, delicious recipe for Spring Salad with farro, garbanzos, asparagus and parmesan.


  • 2 cups farro
  • ¾ pound fresh asparagus, medium thickness, trimmed, cut in thirds on a diagonal.
  • 1 – 15 oz. Can, garbanzo beans; drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup, diced cucumbers
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ⅓ cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette, or to taste
  • 5 oz. lettuce of choice (I used green mix)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • (optional) Cooked shrimp, salmon filet or chicken breast


Cook farro according to package directions. Drain, cool and set aside.

Steam or bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus, and cook uncovered until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain, then immerse in ice water to stop the cooking process. Once the asparagus is cold, drain well, and chop. Set aside.

Place farro, asparagus, garbanzos, tomatoes, diced cucumbers, walnuts, cranberries, parsley, and green onions in a large bowl.

Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over and sprinkle about 3/4 cups Parmesan cheese, then toss.

Spread lettuce over the bottom of a large serving dish. Place farro mix on top of the lettuce.

(Optional) For some extra protein, top with shrimp, salmon or chicken.

Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Balsamic Dressing:

I like Paul Newman’s bottled balsamic vinaigrette, or you can make your own:

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

See past recipes from Dean on his cooking page.

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