I love salad. I eat it almost every day, usually a little side salad before a meal drizzled with my favorite flavored balsamic vinegar and trowing in whatever I have on hand. But sometimes it can get a little (eek!) booooring. As much as I love my Costco sized Earthbound Organics mixed greens pack, it is good to switch it up now and then. This salad is anything but boring! It’s fresh, filling, and packs a big flavor punch. This is a salad that deserves the spotlight of a main course. No hurrythroughsaladsoIcangettothethigIreallywanttoeat here!
Have you guys tried farro???
Or, as Michael calls it, “that big rice” Farro is a really delicious grain that you can use in a wide variety of dishes. It is very hearty, enough to elevate this salad into main course material. It has a great texture that is a bit crunchy and a slight nutty flavor that goes great with the spinach and beets. It’s super easy to make as well! A lot of recipes tell you to soak the farro overnight before cooking it. Who has time for that?!?! I make mine the same way every time: 1 cup farro and 2 1/2 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the water is all soaked up (about 20-30 minutes). Comes out perfectly every time, no soaking necessary!
Now, onto the beets.
In my experience, there are not a lot of people in the middle ground when it come to beets. You either love them or hate them. Well, I loooove them. I love their color, I love their texture, I love their flavor, I love how your hands and kitchen look like the scene of a horror movie after they get drenched in beet juice…oh wait, did I just say that out loud? Whoops
These beets do double duty in this salad because the marinade that you use for the beets is also the salad dressing. Genius!
Roast the beets in a tin foil package. Let them cool and peel them. Slice them up into about 1″ wedges. Marinate with balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, evoo, thyme, and lemon. If you can, let them sit overnight, or at least 1 hour.
Now it’s time to put everything together. Layer spinach on your plate. Next up is the farro. You can use cold farro (say, if you are using leftovers or made it the night before) or warm farro. I like to use warm farro because it wilts the spinach just a teensy bit, which I love. Scoop on the beets and drizzle everything with the beet marinade. Last but definitely not least, sprinkle on some fresh goat cheese. Goat cheese and beets are on of those combos that are made in heaven. If I’m making a beet recipe, you better believe goat cheese is nearby.
Need a meatless Monday meal? If you ask me, this one is pretty perfect!
- 4 cups fresh spinach leaves
- 1 pound beets (about 4 medium beets)
- 1 cup farro
- 4 oz goat cheese
- ½ cup good balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Cut off tops and bottoms of beets, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap beets in tin foil and roast for 40-50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.When cool enough to handle, peel skins from beets. Chop into about 1″ wedges.
- In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, evoo, salt, pepper, thyme, and lemon juice. Drizzle over beets. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour or overnight.
- Combine 1 cup farro and 2½ cups water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and let simmer until water is completely soaked up, about 45 minutes.
- Divide spinach between two plates, add about ½ cup farro to each plate, top farro with beet wedges, drizzle liquid from beet marinade over salad, sprinkle with goat cheese, and serve.