The ingredients of this salad are somewhat a morphing of winter into spring, using what is available in the markets. From winter root veggies [roasted beets] to the appearance of spring produce [spring peas]. The “core” of the salad is farro, one of my favorite grains. I love the nuttiness in flavor it offers. Combined with the beets, peas, tomatoes and grated cheese it is a colorful and delicious dish. The perfect starter…or in my case lunch!
This is another restaurant dish [Shrimp Diablo was the first] offered in the recent series of recipes our local newspaper provided. This salad is from chef Luciano DelSignore of Bacco Ristorante. A local, fine dining [Italian] establishment. Yummy! I’ve adapted the recipe to our taste and based on what was available for purchase. The results were still delicious. This recipe is extremely adaptable to say the least.Note: The total time required to make this salad includes the amount of time necessary to roast the beets, making it seem labor intensive. In actuality, the salad prep time is closer to 15 minutes if your beets are pre-roasted.
1 cup baby beets, roasted, peeled & quartered
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cups dry farro
Salt to taste
1 cup campari tomato filets [see instructions below], about 4 tomatoes
1 cup spring peas [fresh or frozen, thawed]
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup shaved Pecorino Romano
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
•Prepare the beets: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place beets on a baking sheet and lightly coat with olive oil. Bake about 45 minutes or until a small knife can pass through beets without any resistance. Remove from oven. When beets are cool enough to handle, but still warm, peel them. Cut into wedges and set aside.
•Prepare the farro. Rinse the farro in cold water. In a large pot, combine about 8 cups of water, farro and about 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a medium simmer, cover and continue cooking the farro for about 30 minutes or until it’s cooked through. You should be able to bite through the grain without any resistance. Pour into colander and rinse with cold water until farro is cooled down. Set aside.
•Prepare the tomatoes: Score an “X” on the top of the tomato. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Add the tomatoes to boiling water and boil about 15 seconds. Using a slotted spoon remove the tomatoes to the ice water to stop the cooking process. The skin should already start coming off; peel the rest of it off using a small knife or your fingers. Then cut the tomato in half and remove the insides. Once just the flesh remains, cut it into strips and set aside.
•Assembly: In a medium mixing bowl, combine farro, tomatoes, peas, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Divide between four cold plates; garnish the top of the salad with the shaved Pecorino and beets.
Recipe adapted from here.