Long title. And a week full of salads apparently!
Don’t worry… pizza tomorrow.
Asparagus gets old… quick! I bought a bunch the other week to use as a quick side for dinner one night, but it came in a large bunch.
I like asparagus. I don’t love it for some reason.
Growing up, I had it often probably out of a can with Italian dressing. I don’t think my mom ever made it that way, but just in the south that’s how asparagus is often served. My mom would roast it or steam it, which is MUCH preferable to the canned + Italian dressing version.
Somewhere along the way, I had it roasted and either wrapped in prosciutto or bacon. Definitely works.
But again – don’t love it. I actually might prefer it raw dipped in ranch dressing. What isn’t good dipped in ranch dressing? Can’t think of anything.
Anyway, I had this asparagus that I didn’t want to roast or do anything with until I saw on some site (can’t remember now – speak up so I can give you credit – didn’t copy the recipe just the idea) the idea of asparagus PESTO.
You know I love a good pesto… almost as much as any variety of kale salad or homemade pizza.
So I put everything in blender and it turned out great.
Then I added some ingredients I had on hand to make charred tomato chicken and farro salad with asparagus pesto.
OH – this couldn’t fit in the title but it’s important. The asparagus pesto is made with pumpkin seeds for the nut element (<<— nut element?).
All I had on hand – turned out great!
- 1 chicken breast, seasoned with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning
- 1 cup baby heirloom, grape, or cherry tomatoes, quartered or halved depending on size
- 1.5 tbs coconut oil
- 1 tbs fresh basil, chopped
- 1 cup farro
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 cups asparagus stalks
- 1 cup basil
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 lemon, juice
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup olive oil, depending on preferred consistency
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a non-stick and oven proof skillet, heat 1 tbs coconut oil over medium heat until hot. Add seasoned chicken and sear until browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes each side. Add tomatoes and toss in another 1/2 tbs coconut oil. Place in the oven and cook 30-35 minutes, until chicken is cooked at the appropriate temperature and tomatoes are charred.
- Meanwhile, cook the farro in water according to package directions.
- For the pesto, add all ingredients except olive oil in a blender or food processor and pulse to mix. Stream in the olive oil while pulsing until all ingredients are combined well.
- Once chicken and tomatoes are cooked and have rested about 10 minutes, assemble with the cooked farro, chicken and tomatoes, fresh basil, pumpkin seeds and parmesan cheese in a bowl. Top with desired amount of asparagus pesto and toss well. I serve with additional pesto and cheese on top.