Last weekend I taught a class at Bob's Red Mill Cooking School just outside of Portland, Oregon. The theme of the class was "Festive Fall Favorites" and let me tell you: this Perfect Autumn Salad dish was a hit! People loved the mix of sweet and citrus flavors in this hearty salad. It's filling thanks to the protein in farro, chèvre, and beets. Plus, for what it's worth, as one woman pointed out, "this salad is beautiful!" - So, the next time you're hosting friends for dinner, consider whipping this up! It's guaranteed to be a hit!
What You’ll Need:
- 6 small golden beets, scrubbed, peeled, and chopped into ½-inch chunks
- 6 small red beets, scrubbed, peeled, and chopped into ½ inch chunks
- 2-3 Tbsp. EVOO
- a drizzle of Grade A Maple syrup
- Sea salt for taste
- 1-2 tsp. freshly chopped thyme
- 4 oz. goat cheese (Chevre)
- 6-8 cups organic arugula
- Optional: 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- ¾ cup walnuts
- 1 cup farro
For the Orange Citrus Vinaigrette
- 2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
- ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (I use Navel oranges)
- 2-3 Tbsp. EVOO
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1-2 cloves minced garlic
- 1-2 tablespoons honey
1. Preheat the oven to 425-degrees F.
2. Wash, peel (with a veggie peeler - or even an apple peeler), and chop beets into ½-inch chunks (or smaller, just make sure the chunks are of equal size). Align on a clean, unprepared baking sheet and drizzle with 2-3 Tbsp. EVOO and a drizzle of good maple syrup. Using clean hands mix beets to assure a light coating of oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly chopped thyme.
3. Allow beets to roast for 20 minutes at 425-degrees, then turn and roast another 20 minutes.
4. While beets are roasting, prepare farro. I use Bob's Red Mill farro and follow directions on the package; add 1 cup of farro and 3 cups of water to a large boiling pot. Being to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain any excess liquid and set aside.
5. Next, chop pecans, then toast by placing on a small, clean, nonstick frying pan. Turn heat to low and turn frequently for 2-3 minutes, until nuts begin to toast. Remove from heat immediately and set aside. If you're adding in red onion, thinly slice it (keeping the root attached to prevent watery eyes).
6. Finally, make the dressing. Combine all ingredients for 'Orange Citrus Vinaigrette' in a blender or food processor and pulse until well incorporated.
7. 30 minutes before serving, coat the arugula in the Orange Citrus Vinaigrette and massage leaves if they're coarse. Toss in all remaining ingredients. Serve and enjoy!