Heart Healthy Farro Salad

My dad just had an angioplasty procedure yesterday and thankfully his heart looks just fine! I wanted to make a heart healthy lunch for my mom and him to enjoy today and I found this delicious looking recipe that I adapted to what I already had on hand. Farro is an ancient grain similar to barley and adds a nice bite to this salad. We enjoyed sharing this lunch in my parents' terrace today and felt so blessed that he is well.  Here's to all of us staying healthy!

Dad and his healthy salad!
Farro Salad with Tuna, Northern Beans and Kale

1 cup farro or barley
1 15 ounce can Northern White Beans or Cannellini Beans
1 5 ounce can tuna packed in water
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
1 bunch baby kale leaves
1 tablespoons capers
1 bunch asparagus
a few cherry tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook farro in chicken stock. I used Trader Joe's Farro- it is quick cooking and comes in a perfect sized bag. Boil 2 cups of chicken stock (or you can just use water, too) and add bag of farro. Continue cooking 10-12 minutes over medium heat so that the liquid continues to bubble. Take off heat and drain if there is any leftover liquid. Use all the farro except about 2 cups- you can save that for another use!
While the Farro cooks, make the dressing. Smash the garlic cloves until a thick paste is formed. Put into jar and sliced shallots. Add lemon juice to the garlic and shallot and let it stand for a few minutes to "cook" the garlic and shallots. Add oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and shake until blended.

Cut the kale into strips, put into a  bowl and add a little dressing to help soften the kale.

Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain and run cold water over them to stop the cooking. Slice into bite sized pieces.

Combine the cooked farro, beans, tuna, asparagus and capers in a large bowl. Pour the rest of the dressing over the salad and toss well. Place the kale on the bottom of the plate, put the farro and tuna mixture on top and add a few cherry tomatoes sliced in half for color. Enjoy!

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