Am I the only one who hates how beets stubbornly insist on turning everything in their vicinity bright magenta? This salad only had two of the standard red types in there (three were candy-stripe), and it still looks like a mess.
Flavor-wise we’re not breaking any new ground here. I was looking for a way to use up what was in my share and simultaneously give the new 10 Minute Farro that is currently for sale at Trader Joe’s a try. The results were great, and substantial enough for a main course salad. It tasted great, even if the color was not my favorite.
- 5 smallish beets
- fennel bulb
- 1 cup 10 minute Farro
- 1/4 C olive oil
- 1/4 C walnuts
- 1 Tbs sugar
- blue cheese
Do ahead: roast beets in tin foil at 425 degrees for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the flesh meets little resistance. Let beets cool, peel and wash them, and then slice them in half lengthwise and then into half moons. I like to do this part the night before so that dinner comes together quickly the next day.
Measure 1 cup Farro and add to pot along with 3 – 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes. Drain. (NB, there are varieties of Farro on the market that are not pre-cooked as the TJ’s version appears to be. Obviously, you can simply follow the directions on one of these products to achieve the same results. Alternately quinoa or Israeli cous cous would make great substitutes.)
Meanwhile, section orange by cutting off the top and tail, and then slicing down the sides to remove the peel and pith. Carefully run your knife alongside each of the membranes to release the fruit into a salad bowl. Squeeze any remaining juice into your salad bowl.
Slice the fennel as thinly as possible and add it to your bowl.
Put walnuts and sugar in a small non-stick pan and set it over medium heat. Keep an eye on the pan, and when the sugar starts to melt, stir it all around so that it coats the walnuts evenly. Let cool.
Add farro to salad bowl along with beets, olive oil, and walnuts. Add salt and pepper and then give everything a good stir. Crumble blue cheese and dump it on top. I like to use about 1/4 cup, but you may prefer less.