seasonal RECIPES for those who love to EAT
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1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and set the rack in the center position.
2. Rinse any remaining dirt from the beets and trim the stem and roots. Arrange the beets cut side down in a glass baking dish. Add enough water to fill the dish about ½ inch deep; cover tightly with foil and place dish in the oven. Note: Beet juice will stain. Everything. (Your fingers, clothes, cutting board, counter, etc…) To avoid this, keep the beets in a glass dish, not plastic, and wash your hands/tools with warm water and soap right after you finish cutting the beets.
3. Roast beets for 20 to 40 minutes, or until fork tender (time will depend largely on how big the beets are)
4. While the beets cook, prepare the farro according to the package directions, substituting broth for the water called for in the directions.
5. When the beets are tender, remove them from the oven, uncover and let cool.
6. Place the balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by one half; remove from heat and set aside.
7. Once the beets are cool enough to handle, remove the outside peels. (These should slide off fairly easily with just your fingers; you don’t need a vegetable peeler.)
8. Cut the beets into 1/2 inch cubes and transfer to a microwave-safe dish.
9. Transfer the farro to a large mixing bowl. Toss with olive oil, shallot, crumbled goat cheese and half of the arugula. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
10. Heat the beets in the microwave for about 30 seconds, until they are warmed through.
11. Divide the farro mixture evenly among four wide, low bowls. Arrange the beets on top of the farro mixture.
12. Drizzle each dish with a few tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar reduction. Top with a small handful of the remaining arugula and a bit of freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
8 Small fresh red beets (or 4 large)
2 c. Farro
4 c. Low-sodium broth (chicken or vegetable)
2 tbsp. Olive oil
1 Large shallot; peeled and minced
1/3 c. Crumbled goat cheese
2 c. Baby arugula
Freshly ground black pepper
1 c. Balsamic vinegar
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Farro is an ancient whole grain that is related to the more common wheat varieties produced in large quantities today. It looks something like a plump version of barley and it originated (and continues to be cultivated) in Europe. It is fairly easy to cook with and extremely versatile – you’ll find it in soups and stews, as a base for stir fry, or in salads like this one. It has a mild, slightly nutty flavor and a satisfyingly tender-yet-chewy texture. Generally it comes in pearled, semi-pearled and unpearled varieties in your local markets. Whether the grain is “pearled” or not refers to how much of its husk has been removed and impacts cooking time, so it is important to follow the package directions for accurate cooking times.