Farro and Golden Beet Salad
There is something so beautiful—and reassuring—about a dish you can make at the beginning of the week in under an hour and pack for lunch every day, knowing it’s only going to get better as the week goes on. This is one of those salads: It’s hearty enough to keep you full until dinner, with enough going on flavor- and texture-wise (earthy-sweet beets, creamy feta, sautéed-herb dressing, just-spicy candied pecans!) that it keeps you interested—very interested. For even more intrigue, add a spice-fried egg.
- 3 golden beets, trimmed
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for sprinkling
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 3/4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup pearled farro
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Small pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup good-quality crumbled feta
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the beets in the center of a big piece of foil on a baking sheet. Coat with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Fold the foil to make a packet and crimp the edges. Bake the beets until tender (you can check by piercing a fork through the foil), 45 to 60 minutes, depending on their size. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, remove them from the foil and peel off the skin. Coarsely chop.
Meanwhile, pour the stock into a 2-quart saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil. Pour in the farro, then turn down the heat and simmer until the farro is just on the tender side of al dente, 15 to 25 minutes. Drain well.
To make the dressing, in a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until very warm. Off the heat, whisk in the chives, sage, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Let rest in the pan so the flavors meld.
Coat a piece of aluminum foil with nonstick cooking spray. Put the pecans in a small skillet and set over medium heat. When the skillet is warm, add the maple syrup and cayenne. Stir continuously until the pecans are evenly coated and the syrup bubbles nicely, about 5 minutes. Pour the pecan mixture onto the prepared foil, let cool, and then coarsely chop.
In a bowl, toss together the farro, beets, pecans, and feta. Whisk the dressing again and pour it over the salad. Stir gently until well combined. Season with salt, then eat.
Reprinted with permission from Food52 Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad Into Dinner by the editors of Food52, copyright © 2017. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.