Irises and flowering shamrocks, turkey cutlets, farro salad

So we had some painters here today because what we thought were a few boards on the house and garage that needed repainting were actually rotten strips of wood just hanging on by a splinter. All repaired and repainted now but damn if those guys didn't trample some of my plants. Why are workers blind to landscaping? The deck guys ravaged a number of my planted loves, and you should just see the sad mess of steam-rolled nettles I'd worked so hard to cultivate and direct now wasting away along the flagstone walk. GRR. At least their trail of damage was minimal and contained. On the flip-side of all that is that the flowering shamrocks I planted for Oliver (born on St. Patty's) are blooming again and the irises my mom has brought up from Louisiana over the years are going gang-busters. This is a true Louisiana blue. Gorgeous, eh? Dinner tonight was super satisfying. I decided to coat the turkey cutlets in mustard, egg and panko and then pan-fry them in a little butter. Delightful! And what to do with the asparagus? I didn't want to roast them as I usually do because I'm bored with that method and wanted something more substantial. Puttering in the pantry, I came across some pearled farro I had my sister bring me from Italy and immediately decided on a grain-based salad. I also saw some dried chanterelle and portobello mushrooms that I keep meaning to use. What about making a mushroom broth in which to cook the farro? Yes!

While I gave the boys their bath and tucked them in, the dried mushrooms steeped in boiling water. I used this stock as the farro cooking liquid and then again as the base in which to cook a mess of leeks and scallions, the asparagus, some tarragon and the now soft mushrooms. A hefty dose of lemon zest, some salt and pepper finished the veggie bit nicely.

The salad had nuttiness and herbal springiness in spades, but I wanted a touch of creaminess and an element of brightness. Into the mix went blue cheese crumbles and chopped apples. T said the final dish reminded him of a reconceived Waldorf. Whatever it was, it was good!