Farro is a sturdy grain that stands up well to such lusty ingredients as beet greens. The flavor is sweet and nutty, and it contrasts nicely with salty feta or goat cheese. The farro will absorb the color from red beets, giving this salad a pinkish tint. Be sure to cook the farro until tender, or else the salad will be chewy.
medium or 3 small beets (any color) with greens, the beets roasted, the greens stemmed and washed in two changes of water
cup farro, soaked for one hour in water to cover and drained
Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste
tablespoons sherry vinegar
teaspoon balsamic vinegar
small garlic clove, minced or pureed
teaspoon Dijon mustard
cup extra virgin olive oil (may substitute 1 to 2 tablespoons walnut oil for 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil)
cup broken walnut pieces
ounces feta or goat cheese, crumbled (more if desired for garnish)
cup chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, marjoram, chives, mint
1. Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the water comes to a boil, add salt to taste and the greens. Blanch for two minutes, and transfer to the ice water. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then drain and squeeze out excess water. Chop coarsely and set aside. 2. Bring the water back to a boil, and add the farro. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes, stirring from time to time, or until the farro is tender. Remove from the heat and allow the grains to swell in the cooking water for 10 minutes, then drain. 3. While the farro is cooking, make the vinaigrette. Whisk together the vinegars, salt, garlic and mustard. Whisk in the oil(s). Add to the farro. Peel and dice the beets and add, along with the beet greens, feta or goat cheese, herbs and walnuts. Toss together, and serve warm or room temperature with a little more cheese sprinkled over the top if you wish.