Artichoke Fennel Farro Salad with Tarragon Dijon Vinaigrette

Artichokes, fennel, spinach and farro mingle in a flavorful vinaigrette of fresh tarragon leaves, dijon mustard, lemon juice, and olive oil.  Farro is chewy and bouncy, and a nice contrast to crunchy fennel.  The zip of the dijon pairs nicely with sweetness and slightly licorice flavor of tarragon. This makes the perfect side for brunch, a hearty work week lunch, or terrific spring or summer side.  It tastes best at room temperature or chilled.

For a variation, purchase grilled artichokes or make your own to add to the salad.  And while you're at it, throw your fennel out on the grill, as well.  It seems like some grilled foods really love dijon mustard, and this salad is no exception!

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Artichoke Fennel Farro Salad with Tarragon Dijon Vinaigrette

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 Tbsp + ¼ cup olive oil, divided

1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped

1 cup farro

1 cup water

1 cup broth (fake chicken broth or vegetable broth)

¼ cup lemon juice

1 ½ Tbsp fresh tarragon, minced

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 6 ounce package artichoke hearts, chopped

1 cup spinach, torn

1 large fennel bulb, chopped

Salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

1. In a large heavy pot or dutch oven, add olive oil, onion, and a dash of salt over HIGH heat.  When it starts to sizzle, turn down to low, and sauté for 20-25 minutes.  The onions should look a bit golden.  During the last 2 minutes of sautéing, add the garlic.  Add the farro and constantly stir it over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add the water and the broth, then, cover with a lid and simmer on low for 25-30 minutes.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add lemon juice, tarragon, dijon mustard, olive oil, salt, and black pepper, and whisk to combine.  When the farro finishes cooking, drain off any excess liquid, and allow it to slightly cool (about 10 minutes), and then, add it to the vinaigrette.  Then, add the artichokes, fennel, and spinach.  Stir, taste, and adjust the seasonings.  This salad tastes best at room temperature or chilled.

Artichoke Fennel Farro Salad