Baby Beet Farro Salad
The beauty of this salad is in the simplicity of the summer flavors—sweet, earthy baby beets, juicy local blackberries, and organic microgreens from Tongore Brook Farm complemented by spicy-ish red onion and a hint of orange. Farro, a fiber-rich grain, provides a chewy, nutty base for these tender vegetables. For non-vegans, add feta for a briny, tangy bite.
For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons finely diced shallot
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey, agave, or maple syrup
½ teaspoon kosher salt
For the Salad:
1 bunch baby beets (about ¾ pound), scrubbed clean
1 cup uncooked farro (3 cups cooked)
2 ¾ cups water
1 bay leaf
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
½ cup sliced red onion
1 ½ ounces microgreens, fresh mint, or arugula
6 ounces blackberries
6 ounces crumbled feta
Freshly ground black pepper
First, roast the beets. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wrap freshly washed beets in foil (no need to dry them, it’s good if they are slightly wet). Place the foil-wrapped beets on a baking sheet and roast for 50 to 60 minutes or until fork tender. When they are finished roasting, allow them to cool to the touch. Peel the beets by rubbing the skins with your fingers, they should slide right off. Slice the peeled beets into thin wedges. Set aside.
Next make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a jar or lidded container. Shake well and allow the flavors to meld while you prepare the salad.
Cook the farro by putting it in a medium-size saucepan with 2 ¾ cups water, 1 bay leaf and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then lower it to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the grain is tender yet still slightly chewy. Drain the farro if any liquid remains and transfer it to a salad bowl.
Now assemble the salad. Put the farro on a platter or in a large salad bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of dressing and ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Next add the beets, red onions and shoots (or other green) and toss with the remaining dressing. Sprinkle with blackberries, feta, and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper.