Roasted Beet Salad w/ Farro, Arugula, Hazelnuts and Smoky Orange Vinaigrette

Roasted Beet Salad with Farro, Arugula, Hazelnuts and Smoky Orange Vinaigrette! So refreshing, earthy and good for you.

I am such a fan of beets.  However, it took me years to say this.  Growing up they were part of my weekly dinner rotation either given to me by my mother and/or grandmother.  I remember the taste as overly sweet and vinegary.  I would watch the two of them gleefully devour them with a “dance as if no one is watching” enjoyment.  I on the other hand, would look down at my plate and calculate how I would eat my beets and how much time it would take.  I came up with three options: 1. “take it to the head” and just be done with it 2. mix it with the other food (mask it), or 3. bargain (“can I eat like just 1 or 2 of them?”).  All options I’ve had to use at one point or another, sometimes combined, due their permanency at the dinner table. 



Fast forward into my young adult years with enlightened taste buds, and they’re everything to me.  What I learned is that my mother and grandmother were on to something.  Yes, beets are 100% good for you.  They’re loaded with immune-boosting Vitamin C, fiber and the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce birth defects.  What I also learned, is how to prepare them and bring out their subtle sweet flavor.  I usually roast them with caraway seeds, a bit of olive oil, and salt and pepper.  I juice them, which is heaven for me and the best way I like to enjoy beets, or I pickle them with spices and put them on my burger (recipe here) or in my salad. 

This Roasted Beet salad is quite simple to make requiring farro, beets, arugula and hazelnuts.  I roasted the beets for about an hour until they were fork tender, prepared the farro (I used Trader Joe’s 10-minute Farro), and began plating the salad overlapping the beets into a pattern with the arugula, farro and hazelnuts. 

The Orange Vinaigrette gets it smokiness from smoked paprika.  I thought about adding Smoked Sea Salt but I already seasoned the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.  Here is the Smoked Sea Salt that I use.  Let me know if it adds an extra pop of smoke to the vinaigrette if you buy it.  Also, feel free to use any combination of beets for this salad.  There are a variety of beets such as white beets (a.k.a albino beets), Chioggia, which have a red and white spiral inside and of course the yellow beets used in this recipe. Go nuts!

Roasted Beet Salad w/ Farro, Arugula, Hazelnuts and Smoky Orange Vinaigrette//serves 4

1 bunch beets (Red, Yellow, White or Chioggia, which ever you choose)
½ cup chopped, roasted, hazelnuts, skins on
3 cups arugula
2 cups dried farro, or use 2-bags Trader Joe’s 10-minute Farro

smoky-orange vinaigrette//makes ¾ cup
Loosely adapted from Bobby Flay (recipe here)
¼ cup rice vinegar
Juice of two large oranges (1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ red onion
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400’.  Wrap beets in foil and roast in the oven under tender; 1 to 1 ½ hours.  Unwrap the beets and set aside to cool.

Cook farro according to package directions.  While farro is cooking, prepare vinaigrette. In a food processor or blender, combine the rice vinegar, orange juice, water, honey, paprika, parsley and red onion.  Slowly pour in the oil with the machine running.  Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange cooked farro on platter or bowl.  Peel skins off the beets and slice in half.  Cut beets into ¼ inch thick rounds and arrange beets alternating colors onto platter or bowl.  Sprinkle arugula and hazelnuts on top.  Add dressing.  Serve immediately.

Note: Roast various color beets in separate aluminum foil packets to prevent staining.  The last thing you want is to see that your pretty yellow beets have red beetroot stains all over them, or those pretty Chioggia beets.