After a trip, you’re left with memories and photos. Maybe a souveneir or two (I have a habit of bringing home spoons, go figure) but sometimes a dish, something you ate during your travels, follows you home and simply refuses to be ignored.
In cases like this it’s helpful to have a direct connection, a source where you can request the recipe, politely of course, but some legit begging and pleading (oh-my-god-if-I-don’t-eat-that-again-soon-I-might-die) might very well occur. Then you sit back and hope the chef is generous enough to share their secrets with you, and in turn your readers.
This is one such recipe, from the Grocery Cafe at Deer Valley Resort in Utah. I knew from the second I took a bite that this was a dish I would not soon forget (and let’s be honest—how often can you say that about a SALAD?)
It’s a beautiful thing, really, when ingredients come together in perfect harmony. There’s a reason that word, harmony, is used to describe both music and food: as when you find it, you almost want to stand up and applaud the chef who created such a magnificent symphony.
In my case, I didn’t want to cause a scene, so I just snapped a photo and made a mental note to email the Deer Valley Resort PR team about the dish when I got home.
I’ve had this recipe in my email box for since December, tempting me to no end, the only thing preventing me from making and sharing it sooner was my unfortunate lack of microgreens. They are hard suckers to find, but darn if I was going to make this salad without them (however that’s not to say the salad wouldn’t be perfectly delicious still without them, because it would, I promise!) Microgreens are basically infant greens or herbs, harvested somewhere between the sprout and baby lettuce stages. They have the flavors of their grown counterparts, just milder and less intense. Not to mention they are just plain cute, and can take even the most ordinary dish to fancy new heights. I see them at Whole Foods every few months, and when they do appear they are in short supply. This time I happened to find arugula, which was perfect for this salad, and cilantro (!!!) which I’d never seen in micro-form before and promptly snatched up.
I’ve seen some chefs around town with their own little microgreen patches, and I assume they are not to difficult to grow yourself. I may just have to set up a little microgreen farm in our unused upstairs shower to ensure I have a steady supply at all times.
Seriously, I want to microgreen ALL THE THINGS.
But back to this salad.
Aside from the microgreens, it combines seemingly dissonant parts into one, beautifully harmonic whole. The bright arugula, the hearty farro, the sweet and earthy beets, the candy-like pistachios, and the salty cheese.
It just works.
And it’s recipes like this that reconfirm that I am not a chef. I couldn’t have come up with as beautiful a combination as this if I had wanted to. No, this is the work of someone who knows how to combine textures and flavors masterfully. Like a beautiful logo, it’s one of those things that looks so simple, but you just know that the time and thought that went into developing that simplicity was anything but.
This recipe may seem like it has a lot of parts, but the reality is that they can all be made well ahead of time (since they need to be cool when served anyway). Make a double batch, and enjoy this delicious healthy salad all week long.
Oh, and beet haters (yes, I know you’re out there)… leave them off if you must. But don’t miss out on the rest of this recipe just because that one ingredient stirs such contempt in your soul and on your tongue. It’d be a crying shame.
Roasted Beet and Farro Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
- 2 large beets, rinsed and stemmed
- 1/2 cup farro, rinsed
- 4 cups baby arugula
- 1 cup mixed micro greens
- 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- 2 oranges, zested and juiced
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup olive oil (also ok to use half grapeseed or light olive oil for a lighter flavor)
- 1/2 cup raw shelled pistachios
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons maple or white sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Rub beets all over with olive oil. Wrap in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes (depending on size) or until beets are fork tender. When beets are cool enough to handle, rub between two paper towels; skins should come off cleanly. Slice and dice into 1/2-inch chunks and set aside.
- Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook farro according to package instructions, until al dente. Drain any excess water and set aside to cool. Farro can be made ahead of time and stored in airtight container in the refrigerator.
- For vinaigrette, combine citrus zest and juice, garlic, mustard, and honey in a blender or food process and blend well. Slowly drizzle in oil with machine on the lowest speed until emulsified and evenly pale yellow in color. This recipe makes enough dressing for about 8 servings; store it in a jar or airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- For candied pistachios, preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Toss pistachios with maple syrup. Sprinkle with sugar and toss to coat. Pour onto a foil-lined baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes or untill lightly colored and crispy.
- To assemble, divide arugula among serving dishes. Top with cool cooked farro. Sprinkle with chopped beets, micro greens, and candied pistachios. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese. Serve at room temperature.
Shared with permission from Grocery Cafe at Deer Valley Resort (Executive Chef Jodie Rogers and Cafe Chef Kristine Thorslund)All images and text © Lindsay Landis / Love & Olive Oil
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I have made it several times Love it!
This recipe is absolutely delicious!! We had a lot of the dressing left over and used it on all our salads for the next two weeks. The candied pistachios were great but if you were short on time I think you could use plain pistachios with just as much success. Thanks for a great recipe!
I made this a great recipe will be making it again
Farro is my favorite, literally just shared a farro recipe on my blog today!
I love the idea of candied pistachios! Looks incredible, might make this for my blog when I have the time
That salad looks amazing! I absolutely love a great beet salad :D
What a gorgeous salad with all of my very favorite ingredients! For those living in the Chicago area, I highly recommend the Petite Salad Greens (or any other herbs and greens) from a local company called “Farmed Here”) http://farmedhere.com/
Their greens are grown indoors using aqua ponic technology. So no pesticides, etc. Available year round and always super fresh. I’ve seen them at Whole Foods and Standard Market. Well worth it!
Wow! What a beautiful salad! I’m always looking for ways to get more beets in my life. I’m definitely going to have to try this!
mmmm looks delicious!
This recipe is an inspiration! I am always looking for new ways to season my salads, as I mostly use olive oil, balsamic vinegar and oregano only. And as much as I love pistachios.. I need to make this salad asap! Never had microgreens before. Hopefully I will find them over here in Germany. Thanks for sharing!
The best memories of a trip are always those who will change us a little, those that enrich us. This recipe is amazing.
I love that you recreated this salad! It’s definitely one of my favorites that Deer Valley does, and I can’t wait to eat it again on the deck as I sit on the deck at Grocery Cafe. Your version is going in my to-make recipes for sure!
Yummyyy looks delicious :)
Lindsay, we must be spoiled in Sydney: the supermarkets are usually pretty woeful but they do stock microgreens (and microherbs) these days. They certainly add a nice flair to a dish. Love the look of the candied pistachios, might try those out in a dish of my own soon!
What a lovely salad, Lindsay! Beets, and farro, and arugula… yum! :)
simply yum! your pictures get better and better. I wish I could learn to take photos of food the way you do! can’t wait to try your recipe of course! xx. gigi
A lovely salad to enjoy!
This salad looks so yummy and satisfying. Definitely need to try this!!
Agreed, microgreens are just so adorable! I don’t love arugula, but I think if it’s that cute and tiny, it would get me to try just about anything, And the beets almost look like little cubes of Jello haha.
Im constantly battling the desire to up and move from the outskirts of LA to the outskirts of Sonoma wine country to have the space to grow things like micro greens on what of course would be an massive spread of awesome ingredients in abundant supply year round and kept in perfect order with not a weed or sprinkler problem in sight.
Alas, there’s (practically) no jobs up there for me, so I’ll stay here for a while longer and futz with the backyard sprinkler so I can grow a micro microgreen patch. :)
What a gorgeous salad, Lindsey! And I love the idea of making a little micro green garden patch. I think I might steal your idea this summer, too!
This looks soooo delish! It sounds perfect as lunch on a warm summer day. I love lemon and it sounds so good in combination with the pistachios and beets.
It never occurred to me to ask for the recipe, maybe I should do that more often. :)
I have a slight obsession with micro-greens as well! When I worked in a restaurant, we used a TON of them. Micro basil was my favorite! So cute and tiny.
This looks delicious. I’m making a beetroot and pea salad tonight but I might have to throw in a few candied pistachios now!
Omg this looks absolutely wonderful! I love beets and this is such a great and different way to use them. Thank you!