Farro Asparagus Patties with Red Pepper Sauce
Your taste buds will celebrate once spring asparagus makes its annual appearance at local markets. These whole grain patties are the perfect way to take advantage of its vegetal sweetness and tender texture. Soft silken-style tofu is a great base for this lively sauce, but you can also make it using plain yogurt or sour cream. Leftover sauce is great on sandwiches and burgers.
Bread crumbs are an easy DIY kitchen project. Simply grind up slices of day-old bread into fine crumbs using a food processor and then store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
1 cup (250 mL) farro
1/2 lb (225 g) asparagus spears
4 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup (180 mL) whole grain bread crumbs
1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup (80 mL) chopped walnuts
2 green onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup (80 mL) dry sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed)
8 oz (225 g) silken tofu
1 roasted red pepper
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne or chili powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive, grapeseed, or camelina oil
3 Tbsp (45 mL) chopped chives
Place farro and 3 cups (750 mL) water in medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer covered for 30 minutes, or until grains are tender. Drain well and set aside to cool in large bowl.
Using vegetable peeler or mandoline, shave asparagus into long, thin strips. Chop strips and any whole tips into small pieces and transfer to bowl with farro. Stir in eggs, bread crumbs, Parmesan, walnuts, green onions, garlic, thyme, and lemon juice.
Place sun-dried tomatoes in small bowl, cover with warm water, and let soak for 15 minutes. Remove tomatoes from bowl, reserve soaking water, and place in food processor or blender container along with tofu, roasted red pepper, lemon zest, cayenne or chili powder, and salt. Blend until smooth. If mixture is too thick, blend in some of the water used to soak tomatoes until desired consistency is reached.
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. For each patty, place a mound of farro mixture in the palm of your hand, carefully place in skillet, and press down gently with spatula to flatten. Heat for 2 minutes per side, or until golden. Keep cooked patties warm in 200 F (93 C) oven while you prepare remaining farro mixture. You should have about 12 patties.
Serve patties topped with Red Pepper Sauce and chives.
Each serving contains: 378 calories; 18 g protein; 15 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 42 g total carbohydrates (4 g sugars, 7 g fibre); 389 mg sodium