Citrus Farro Salad With Roasted Beets & Poppy Seeds

by Nirmala Narine
  • Level: Beginner


  • 8 medium beets, tops trimmed to 1 inch, greens reserved
  • 1 1/2 cups farro or wheat berries
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (keep olive oil and vinegar in separate dishes)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 oranges, segmented
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange beets in single layer foil, and drizzle with vegetable oil. Wrap them in the foil and roast for about 1 hour or until tender.
  2. Cool. Trim beets and peel (If you like, you can do this step a day ahead and refrigerate the beets overnight.).
  3. Cut each beet into 6 to 8 wedges.
  4. Cook the farro in large saucepan with 4 cups of boiling water for about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to large bowl.
  5. Stir in the orange zest and 1 tablespoon of oil. Cool farro to room temperature.
  6. Whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar along with orange juice, Dijon and poppy seeds in small bowl. Drizzle over farro.
  7. Toss the dressed farro with the beets, onion, orange segments and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

If your beets have nice, bushy leaves, save them to serve with the salad. First, remove the thick stems from the leaves and wash the leaves thoroughly, then spin them dry in a salad spinner. Pour oil into a large skillet (enough to coat the bottom). Heat over medium flame until rippling, then add 3 to 4 cloves sliced garlic. When sizzling, stir in the beet greens and season lightly with sea salt. Cook until just wilted or for a minute or two more if you prefer your greens a bit more tender.

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