It is nice, on occasion, to view the world through rose-colored glasses. Today, however, I chose a rose-tinged salad in which to look at the world…through my kitchen window.
This salad came about on a random trip to the grocery store, when I spotted some ears of red corn. I knew immediately that the ruby cobs were begging to be paired with beets, which I had, already cooked and lurking in the vegetable bin. When I opened the drawer to grab them out I spotted a bag of rainbow radishes. Wow! This is really coming together…who knew we would be having rosy pink salad for dinner!
I needed something to balance out the crisp veggies, so I grabbed the farro from the pantry and started it in a saucepan. As I was combining the corn and other veggies in a bowl, I eyeballed two gorgeous red and yellow striped tomatoes…those were definitely going in.
What started out as a kitchen-sink-salad of sorts ended up being a gorgeous gem of a side dish…and it only gets prettier after sitting for a day in the fridge. Beets have a way of leeching their beauty into everything they touch.
Whip up your own version of this hearty grain salad, with your own favorite ingredients – what do YOU have lurking in the crisper? – or let these vibrant-hued ingredients inspire you.
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup farro (you could also use barley, quinoa or whatever grains you have in the pantry, but the cooking times will be different)
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced into rings
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 ears fresh corn, kernels sliced off
- 1 small bunch radishes, halved or quartered
- A few roasted or steamed beets, peeled and cut into wedges
- Two large heirloom tomatoes, chopped, or a handful or two of cherry tomatoes, halved
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Crumbled goat cheese, for serving
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add farro and simmer until farro is al dente, about 20 minutes.
- In the meantime make the dressing: place the red wine vinegar in a small bowl and add the shallots. Let them sit until slightly pickled, about 15 minutes. Add chia seeds, olive oil and honey and whisk to combine. Let the dressing sit while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Drain and rinse the farro with cold water then transfer to a large bowl. Add corn, radishes, beets and tomatoes, tossing gently to combine. Stir in the dressing, and stir to make sure everything is coated. Season well with salt and pepper and serve, topped with goat cheese, or chill up to three days.