Grilled Asparagus Lemon-Thyme Farro Salad

Grilled Asparagus Lemon-Thyme Farro Salad

Welcome to grilling week! This week, each of the 3 recipes I’m going to post will all involve the grill. The sun is finally shining and we’re getting ready for Memorial Day weekend, so what better time to cook outside? Of course if you don’t have an outdoor grill, you can always use a cast iron grill pan on the stove top.

We’re starting this series with one of my favorite things to grill – asparagus! The key to great grilled asparagus is finding really fresh thin spears of asparagus. I like fat spears for ribboning, but thin spears are best for grilling because they’re more tender, crisp, and delicious with a quick char.

Grilled Asparagus Lemon-Thyme Farro Salad

This recipe is easy if you prep everything before you start grilling: cook the farro, make the tangy thyme dressing, chop the pistachios, crumble the cheese… When you’re ready to serve the salad, grill the asparagus, grill the lemons, and assemble!

Grilled Asparagus Lemon-Thyme Farro Salad Grilled Asparagus Lemon-Thyme Farro Salad

I love this colorful salad for spring! 💛

It has a nutty flavor from the farro and pistachios and a tangy bite from the quick pickled radishes. These form the perfect base for the grilled asparagus. Top it all off with a squeeze of the juicy grilled lemon.

I should mention that I got these delicate pea shoots from the farmers market this weekend. Pea shoots have a short season – if you can’t find them, top your salad with a few micro greens. Soft herbs like basil, mint, and/or tarragon would be also delicious.

Grilled Asparagus Lemon-Thyme Farro Salad

Asparagus Ribbon, Mint & Pea Pesto Toasts

Asparagus Ribbon, Mint & Pea Pesto Toasts

If you love asparagus, but the people you’re living with don’t, this post is for you. Even if you’re just blasé about asparagus, like I used to be, give it a chance by ribboning it! You’ll completely avoid that unpleasant fibrous, stringy experience because thin, raw ribbons tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper are so fresh and delicious. You can toss them in salads, put them on pizza… last weekend we ate them on fancy toast because these happened to be the ingredients that I had on hand.

Asparagus Ribbon, Mint & Pea Pesto Toasts

To make the ribbons, you need some fat asparagus (thin spears don’t work as well for this) and a sharp vegetable peeler. Peel the spears into thin strips and season them with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It’s amazing that the way a vegetable is cut can completely change its flavor.

Asparagus Ribbon, Mint & Pea Pesto Toasts

So pretty!

Asparagus Ribbon, Mint & Pea Pesto Toasts

I assembled these toasts with my go-to pea and mint pesto. The peas make for a thick, veggie-ful pesto, although you’ll hardly taste them (a great way to hide more veggies). I used frozen peas because they’re so easy to keep on hand.

Assemble your toasts with the ingredients pictured above, or any variation of your choosing. Top with soft boiled eggs if you like, although they are optional!

Asparagus Ribbon, Mint & Pea Pesto Toasts

Chickpea Pan Bagnat Sandwiches

Chickpea Pan Bagnat Sandwiches

It’s an understatement to say that I love a Niçoise salad. When we went to Nice, I ate at least one every single day that we were there… sometimes for lunch and then again for dinner. There’s something about briny flavors matched with crisp vegetables that I just crave all the time. So, naturally, I ALSO love a pan bagnat sandwich, which is essentially a Niçoise salad in sandwich form. My version here is made without tuna and without hard boiled eggs, so it’s completely vegan and completely non-traditional. Because of this, Jack has so kindly titled it: Pan Bag-Not. That being said, he doesn’t like hard boiled eggs so he’s completely on board with this version of the sandwich.

Chickpea Pan Bagnat Sandwiches Chickpea Pan Bagnat Sandwiches

Authenticity aside, I love this chickpea salad so much more than tuna! The texture is similar to a good tuna salad… ie, one that is not heavy on the mayo. It’s briny and tangy from the capers, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice… and there’s a bit of tahini that also makes it rich and creamy. The chickpea salad is from our cookbook (on a different sandwich). Making it again for this recipe reminded me just how much I love it!

Chickpea Pan Bagnat Sandwiches

For this sandwich, it’s important that you find good, fresh baguette that’s on the softer side. Why? First, because life’s too short for bad baguette. Second, if your baguette is too firm, this filling will squish out a bit – which is still delicious, just a tad messy!

Chickpea Pan Bagnat Sandwiches

Very Veggie Spring Green Breakfast Casserole

Very Veggie Spring Green Breakfast Casserole

I love a good frittata. Frittatas are my go-to choice for brunch if Jack and I are hosting a couple of people. Now that we’re living around more family here in Chicago, I’ve changed things up – this recipe is basically a frittata in casserole form. Why? Well with a casserole, you get a lot more portions with no more work. It’s perfect if you’re hosting a Mother’s Day get-together with your family this weekend! 

Speaking of moms, I borrowed (er…took?) this recipe from my mom. She first started making it around the time of my sister’s baby shower last spring and it has become her go-to brunch recipe ever since. My favorite part is the hearty layer of roasted sweet potatoes on the bottom. Since the sweet potatoes naturally sink to the bottom of the egg mixture, they create a beautiful and delicious base to this egg dish. My mom makes her recipe with bell peppers and zucchini, but I swapped in asparagus and peas to celebrate spring. Along with the mushrooms and scallions, this dish is positively packed with vegetables.

Since I don’t drink regular milk, I reached for Almond Breeze to whisk into the eggs, but then I thought – ah ha – I’ll switch things up by using their Almond Cashew blend instead. It’s made with a creamy mix of almond milk and cashew milk – it makes these eggs nice and fluffy, but decadent at the same time. If you skip the feta, this recipe is entirely dairy free, but I really love the tanginess of feta cheese in this one, so I don’t recommend skipping it 🙂

Just look at that sweet potato layer that I was talking about – yum!

Thanks, mom, for the recipe!

Mother’s Day Recipes + a Giveaway!

Coconut Mango Muffins

Mother’s Day is this weekend! That sure came up quick! In case you need some recipe inspiration, here are a few of my favorites that I think would be perfect for the occasion. Plus, see below for an extra special giveaway 🙂

For brunch:

I love these lightly sweet Coconut Mango Muffins. I often keep them in my freezer for a weekday breakfast or snack. To make them brunch-able, serve with the mini frittatas below:

Mini Tomato Frittatas with Dill

These little Mini Tomato Frittatas with Dill are as cute as they are delicious. I absolutely love the combo of dill and eggs. These little guys are also filled with kale, feta, scallions, and tomatoes.

Blueberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal

This Blueberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal might be my favorite brunch recipe ever. It’s a sweet breakfast that’s filled with so many good-for-you things like oats, almonds, hemp seeds, coconut flakes, strawberries, and bananas.

Shakshuka with Spinach and Harissa

This Shakshuka with Spinach and Harissa is a reader favorite and one of my favorites too. I just love these baked eggs in spicy tomato sauce. Serve with avocado slices and toast for dipping – yum yum!

Cinnamon Sugar Baked French Toast

This one just makes me drool. The Cinnamon Sugar Baked French Toast is a slightly more indulgent sweet breakfast than the baked oatmeal above and it’s a crowd pleaser, because who doesn’t love french toast! I originally made this using pomegranates in the winter, but now that it’s spring, I would use fresh berries instead.

Fennel & Clementine Chopped Salad

Farmers Market Inspired Recipes:

This Fennel & Clementine Chopped Salad is so pretty! It’s a crunchy slaw-like salad that’s tossed with a ginger-miso dressing and topped with clementines, avocado, and fresh mint.

Chickpea Salad Wraps with Avocado Dill Sauce

Chickpea Salad Wraps with Avocado Dill Sauce. If you love tuna salad, but not actual tuna, give these chickpea salad wraps a go! I love to eat these for lunch, but they’d also be a great springy brunch appetizer.

Farmers Market Asparagus Potato Pizza

I’ve never actually had pizza on Mother’s Day, but this super springy Farmers Market Asparagus Potato Pizza is so elegant and fresh with those pretty asparagus ribbons that I’m sure it would be a big hit.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Dinner for a group:

You can’t go wrong with a big pan of lasagna and this Roasted Vegetable Lasagna will please vegetarians and meat-eaters alike!

Strawberry Coconut Cream Tart

For Dessert:

This Strawberry Coconut Cream Tart has a delectable almond flour crust. This is a lightly sweet, very fresh, grain-free dessert that everyone’s going to love.

Love & Lemons Mother's Day Giveaway

And a special Mother’s Day Giveaway! One lucky winner will receive:

– Our new meal planner: the Love & Lemons Meal Record & Market List
(oh and this makes a great gift, click here to order one that will arrive on time for Mother’s Day!)

– A $100 ALDI gift card – because you’ll need some groceries after you plan your meals 🙂

– A special treat to pamper yourself: These Osmia Organics skincare products: Coffee Mint Soap, Adzuki Nourishing Mask, and Pumpkin Facial Soap. I’ve been personally using and loving these items for the past few months! Their products are made with all natural, non-toxic ingredients… they feel wonderful on your skin and smell amazing, all with no fragrances – just wonderful essential oils.

To Enter: Leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite brunch food is!

The giveaway will close on Friday at 11pm CDT. A winner will be chosen at random. Because I’m shipping this one out personally, US addresses only please!