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You Have to Try This Protein-Packed Summer Lunch Spread with Farro Salad, Ricotta Dip, and Eggs

This delightful lunch spread is the perfect summer snacking plate to share with friends!
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If you don't follow us on Instagram yet, you might have missed Shelly Westerhausen Worcel, cookbook author and recipe developer, show us the most lavish lunch spread on our Instagram Stories. The spread she displayed came from her newest cookbook Tables & Spreads: A Go-To Guide for Beautiful Snacks, Intimate Gatherings, and Inviting Feasts. The book is all about easy entertaining, small gatherings, and recipes for weeknight meals. The book was inspired by responses and suggestions from Worcel's first book, Platters and Boards.

Worcel's Farro Salad, Simple Ricotta Dip, and Cacio e Pepe Eggs are all a part of this quick, easy, and delicious protein-packed lunch spread. (Related: 100 Easiest Recipes You Can Make)

The Farro Salad is a perfect and refreshing way to add protein and fiber to your meal. Its pecans add crunch and roasted leeks pack vitamin K; the apples and raisins add some natural sweetness, blue cheese lends a savory balance, and a simple dressing rounds out the healthy fats and flavor. Plus, the eggs are full of protein, meaning this lunch spread will cover all the bases.

Once all these recipes are done, grab a board and place your Ricotta Dip in the center, add your Cacio e Pepe eggs, along with any veggies you'd like with this dip. Worcel recommends adding toasted bread, red cabbage leaves, cucumbers, assorted nuts, tri-colored cherry tomatoes, some halved organic purple and orange carrots, halved beets, mini peppers, halved snap peas, and watermelon beet slices.

For more snack board ideas, check out this recipe for 6 Healthy Dip Recipes to Make at Home.

Farro Salad

shelly worcel salad farro salad recipe
Courtesy of Shelly Worcel

You'll Need

For the dressing

1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp chili garlic sauce, or your favorite hot sauce
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

1 cup farro, rinsed
1 1/2 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning
One can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small leek, trimmed, washed, halved, and sliced into 1/2 in half-moons
1/3 cup pecan halves
1 tart apple, cored and diced
1/4 cup yellow raisins
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

How to Make It

  1. To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, chili garlic sauce, honey, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Set aside.
  3. To make the salad, first, boil the farro until it's tender. Drain any excess water and set it aside.
  4. Bake your chickpeas on a baking sheet tossed in 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and 1/2 tsp of the salt for 10 minutes in the oven.
  5. On another baking sheet spread an even layer of leeks tossed in the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil and the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt.
  6. Once your chickpeas are done pour them on top of the leeks and place them in the oven for an additional 10 minutes or until both the leeks and chickpeas are brown. Then use a spatula to push the chickpea mixture to one side of the baking sheet and add the pecans.
  7. Let it all bake for another 3 minutes or until fragrant. Remove them from the oven and set them aside.
  8. Once the pecans are cool enough to chop, roughly chop and place them in a large mixing bowl.
  9. In the same large mixing bowl, add the cooked farro, chickpeas, leeks, apple, raisins, and blue cheese and mix to combine. Drizzle in the dressing and mix again. Taste and add more salt or pepper, as needed.

Author note: This salad can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let the salad come back to room temperature when serving.

Simple Ricotta Dip

shelly worcel salad ricotta dip recipe
Courtesy of Shelly Worcel

You'll Need

1 cup of ricotta
Herbs from your fridge
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil to drizzle

How to Make It

  1. Simply add your ricotta to a small mixing bowl for dipping and add some fresh herbs, salt, and pepper.
  2. Once it's mixed, drizzle a little olive oil on top and a pinch of herbs for decoration.
  3. To now you're going to add some herbs from your fridge to some ricotta and a dash of salt and pepper.

Cacio e Pepe Eggs

shelly worcel salad cacio e pepe eggs recipe
Courtesy of Shelly Worcel

You'll Need

2 eggs
2 tsp mayonnaise
2 cups cantaloupe, sliced
2 oz. shaved Parmesan cheese
2 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

How to Make It

  1. Bring some water to a rapid boil over high heat. Using a slotted spoon, lower 2 eggs into the water and lower the heat to medium or medium-low and let that simmer for 7 minutes.
  2.  When the eggs are done, transfer them to an "ice bath" (2 cups of water and ice) and let your eggs cool for at least 2 minutes.
  3. Crack and peel the eggs then slice them in half and smear 1/2 tsp of the mayonnaise on the cut side of each half.
  4. Top each egg half with 1/2 oz shredded Parmesan, 1/2 tsp grated Parmesan, and a half-turn of pepper. Serve right away.

Author note: Eggs can be cooked and stored, unpeeled, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before serving. Peel and assemble them right before serving.

You can buy the full cookbook on Amazon and don't forget to follow Shelly on her Instagram page @vegetarianventures for more recipes and vegetarian inspiration.

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Ann Marie Langrehr
Ann Marie is the Social Media Editor for Eat This, Not That! running the brand's social media accounts. Read more about Ann Marie