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Hot Weather Recipes: Cold Beet and Farro Salad For The Fourth Of July

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Photo courtesy of Olive & Thyme
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Summer is really heating up, and the Fourth of July is just around the corner. If you're still looking for a unique side dish to serve at your BBQ, this festive beet and farro salad should do the trick. Slightly more sophisticated than frozen grapes (which admittedly is one of our absolute favorite hot weather snacks), this beet and farro salad from Burbank's Olive & Thyme is not only patriotic with its crimson color, but it's also super easy to make and mega healthy.

For those unfamiliar with farro, it's an awesome Italian grain loved by farmers because it grows well in poor soils and by chefs for its nutty chewiness. It makes an excellent base for any cold salad and can be swapped out in place of quinoa. And it has twice the fiber and protein of wheat, meaning you can feel good about eating it.

You can prep the salad on Wednesday night when the heat has subsided and store it in the fridge for a hassle-free Fourth. Here's how it's made.

Farro and Roasted Beets
By Melina Davies, chef/owner of Olive & Thyme

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Ingredients:

4-5 medium-sized red and golden roasted beets, greens separated
1 cup farro (dry weight), soaked for 1 hour
3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup shaved aged parmesan cheese
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
fleur de sel
fresh ground pepper

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove beet greens from stems and roughly chop. Toss greens and beets in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet. Roast until visibly darkened and wilted, approximately 45 minutes. Let cool, then peel and dice beets and reserve.

Boil 2.5 cups water and add farro. When it returns to boil reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Check the farro every ten minutes, taste in the last twenty. When the farro is tender, remove from heat and let farro sit in boiling pot for 5 minutes, then drain.

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Mix balsamic, dijon, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper for the dressing. While the farro is still warm, toss the vinaigrette with the grains. Incorporate beets and greens after the vinaigrette. Wait until the salad has cooled before adding the parmesan and goat cheese and lightly toss.

The salad will be a crimson color from the beets, perfect for the festive holiday. Serve chilled.

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