One night I decided to turn a quick stir-fry of Brussels sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, and garlic chips into a grain salad with a bit of cooked farro I had stowed in the fridge. I made a batch of Peanut Vinaigrette (below), grabbed a big handful of baby spinach leaves, tossed everything together, and garnished with roasted peanuts, cilantro, and some pea shoots I had from Mermaid Farm. We ate the salad at room temperature and it was delicious. But with a little forethought (and a quick zap of the farro – or any cooked grain – in the microwave), you can serve the salad warm.

I love the all-green look of this salad as it reminds me that spring will come eventually. To that end, a bit of extra green in the form of sliced avocado would be nice in this too. You could also add roasted chickpeas to make this a really substantial vegetarian supper, or a nice hearty pot-luck dish — when pot-lucks return. Or just serve it as an all-in-one side dish. Leftovers are tasty, too.

Serves 4

  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups cooked farro (a generous ¾ cup raw) or other cooked grain, warmed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 recipe Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Shiitakes, Tamari, and Garlic Chips (freshly made if possible)
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted peanuts (more if you like)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons Peanut Vinaigrette (below)
  • 1 or 2 avocados, sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh pea shoots (optional)

1.  Arrange one cup of the spinach over and around the edges of a serving platter.

2. Put the farro in a large mixing bowl and season it with ½ teaspoon salt. Toss well. Add the rest of the spinach leaves, the stir-fried Brussels sprouts and mushrooms, half of the peanuts and half of the cilantro. Drizzle with three to four tablespoons of the peanut vinaigrette and toss the salad well. Taste and add more dressing or more salt if you like.

3. Mound the salad on the serving platter and garnish with avocado slices (if using), the remaining peanuts, the remaining cilantro, and the pea shoots (if using).  Have the extra peanut vinaigrette on hand for drizzling on top if desired.


Peanut Vinaigrette

This dressing will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Use it on thinly sliced cabbage to make a quick slaw.

Makes about ¾ cup


  • ½ garlic clove, peeled
  • 3 thin slices unpeeled fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed
  • 2 tablespoons chunky natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • kosher salt
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)


1. Put the garlic and ginger in a small food processor and pulse until chopped.

2. Add the oil, peanut butter, lime juice, tamari, rice vinegar, dark brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. Process until well combined. If using, add the cilantro and process again until well mixed.