I have a beautiful salad to share with you. To start, it combines gold and garnet beets with gold and garnet oranges. Basically, it’s a bowl of jewels. Here’s a preview before we go any further:
Intrigued? I was, too, when I saw the inspiration for this dish on Always Order Dessert. But look closer at the photo above. Do you see those plump little pearls of grain mixed in with the jewels? That, dear readers, is called farro. Don’t be afraid. Farro can be your friend. Let me tell you what I know.
It seems that the grain experts of the world find themselves stumped when it comes to farro, since no one can completely agree on what exactly farro is. In Italy, farro can refer to three types of grain: emmer, spelt, and einkorn. The kind that I used here, and that you’d want to pick up should you choose to try this recipe, has the Latin name Triticum dicoccum. I know all this is a little confusing, but again: don’t be afraid.
Farro feels chewy on the palate and has a bit of a nutty kick. It tastes earthy, healthy, and trendy. You might not be able to find farro everywhere, but health food stores should carry it. This salad marks farro’s second appearance on the Sprout Diaries, which you may remember from back in July.
beet, citrus & farro salad
1 cup uncooked farro, prepared according to the directions on the package
1 medium red beet
1 medium gold beet
2 handfuls of greens (I used baby lettuce, though arugula would be nice, too)
1 blood orange, segmented
1 cara cara orange, segmented
feta cheese to top
for the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
juice of 1 orange
1 medium shallot, minced
salt and pepper
Cook the farro. Allow to cool.
While the farro is cooking and cooling, we can roast our beets (a very simple process). Simply wash and trim your beets, wrap each individually in tin foil, and place in the oven at 400 F for about an hour. If you’ve got particularly big beets, you may need to keep them in there for an extra half hour or so. Just stick a fork in them to gauge their softness.
(Note: I’m roasting five here only because I was planning ahead for another beet-utiful recipe. Stay tuned; that scrumptious secret will be posted very soon.)
After allowing the beets to cool, peel them with a paring knife or run them under cold water and simply rub off the peels (this worked for most of my beets–so easy!). Slice each beet into thin wedges and set aside.
Prepare the vinaigrette by combining the oil, vinegar, orange juice, shallots, salt and pepper. To be honest, the creation of this vinaigrette was very imprecise. I’ll bet you could swap in other kinds of vinegar or even toss in some herbs with pleasing results.
Finally, we assemble! Combine the beets, orange segments and greens to your farro and toss. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat.
Top with a sprinkling of feta, and dive in!