Not too long ago I was at Le Pain Quotidien, a French style cafe with a food ranging from pastries and coffee to tartines and salads. When I was there, I ordered what they call a Farmhouse Avocado Salad which comes with farro, garden vegetables, avocado and an avocado dressing. The salad was fresh, delicious and the dressing really put it over the top. Since then, I’ve had farro a couple more times and decided that I’d try my hand at making a farro and vegetable salad.
This week’s CSA farm share bag included lots of tomatoes and basil and so I knew they had to get into the salad bowl. I had also just bought some beets and so I opted to roast those to include in the salad. Farro, roasted beets, farro, arugula, basil, tomatoes, lemon vinaigrette and soft goat cheese? How can you go wrong? This would be a great side dish to go along side pork chops for dinner, or with chicken salad sandwiches for a summer weekend lunch.
Serves 2 as an entree salad or 4-6 as a side
2 cups arugula
3-4 large beets, roasted (directions here)
2 oz soft goat cheese
1 cup farro
2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
6-7 fresh basil leaves, cut in a chiffonade or a rough chop
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
About an hour or more before you are ready to prepare the salad, roast the beets. I’ve detailed on how to roast them here. Since that time, I have opted to roast with the skin on and then slip the skin off after they are roasted. Once roasted, cooled and skin is removed, cut into small 2″ pieces.
If your beets are roasted ahead of time, begin preparing the farro. Add farro, 4-5 cups water and a pinch of salt to large sauce pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a light simmer and cook for approximately 20-25 minutes, or under farro is tender. Strain farro and rinse with cold water, and set aside.
In a small ramekin, whisk together lemon juice and olive oil.
In a large serving bowl add arugula and then top with farro. Add in beets, tomatoes, sprinkle in basil, a pinch of kosher salt and a little black pepper (both to taste) and top with goat cheese. Pour lemon vinaigrette over salad and serve