Secret Recipe // Olive & Thyme’s Roasted Beet Farro

Roasted Beet Farro Salad :: The Effortless Chic 1

Anybody else moving a little slow this Monday morning?  This weekend was one that I won’t ever forget!  Aaron flew my mom in from Texas as a surprise on Friday so that she could be here for my baby shower Saturday.  Originally my dad was supposed to be flying from the east coast where he has been working to spend the weekend with her in Austin, but when he got snowed in, Aaron arranged for her to come out here as a surprise!  (Best husband ever!) While I may still be recovering from this whirlwind weekend, I’m really excited to introduce this new series today.  Have you ever been out to dinner and wondered why the brussels sprouts on your plate taste so much better than the ones you make at home?  Or how your favorite restaurants put together such a seemingly simple dish packed with so much flavor?  In this series, Secret Recipe, some of our favorite dining spots from around Los Angeles are going to be sharing their secrets and giving us the lowdown on some of our favorite dishes.

Roasted Beet Farro Salad :: The Effortless Chic 2

Olive and Thyme opened in Toluca Lake in 2011 to much excitement of nearby studio employees and valley dwellers alike.  Prior to their opening, lunch choices in the neighborhood had been mostly limited to chain restaurants and a few other neighborhood spots.  There was nothing, though, that even compared to the fresh, flavorful sandwiches and salads that Melina Davies and her crew was cooking up daily.  In the beginning, if you didn’t make it in early, chances were that some of your favorite menu items would already by sold out for the day.  Such was the demand for this cozy-chic cafe and marketplace.  Today she’s sharing with us her Roasted Beet Farro Salad– a total fan favorite which I can’t wait to make at home!  I’ve been loving cold salads like this one that I can eat for lunch or serve alongside dinner in the evenings– and this one is delicious!

Roasted Beet Farro Salad :: The Effortless Chic 3

Roasted Beet Farro Salad

By: Melina Davies

(Serves 6-8 side portions)


  • 4-5 medium red and golden beets, rinsed and dried well.
  • 8 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cups farro (dry weight), soaked for 1 hour
  • 3 Tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Fleur de salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup shaved aged parmesan (optional)
  •  3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)


1. Pre-heat oven at 350ºF. Remove beet greens from stems and roughly chop crosswise.

2. Toss greens and beets with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet. Roast until visibly darkened and wilted, about 40-45 minutes.

3. Bring a saucepan of water to boil and add farro. When it returns to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Check farro every 10 minutes or so; taste after 20 minutes for doneness. When the farro is tender, remove from heat and let farro sit in boiling pot for 5 minutes then drain well.

4. Meanwhile, peel and dice beets then set aside. Mix balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, remaining extra virgin olive oil (about six tablespoons), and minced garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. While the farro is still warm, toss the vinaigrette with the grains. Mix in beets and greens. Once the salad has cooled, if using cheese, lightly toss in Parmesan and goat cheese.

Roasted Beet Farro Salad :: The Effortless Chic 4

Photography by Jordana Sheara

  1. Laura Rook


    Jen, I made this salad two nights ago and it was so delicious! I had to go to a few stores to find farro and ended up finding it at Whole Foods. The golden and red beats make it beautiful and the farro has such a nice nutty flavor. I topped the salad with arugula. I highly recommend adding the crumbled goat cheese and shaved parmesan, although I used sparingly to cut calories. We had enough for 2+ meals. The first night I served it with panko crusted cod and a lemon dill sauce. The next night I served it with grilled pork tenderloin. I think I liked it best as a side with the tenderloin. This salad holds up very well to be served as left-overs. Thank you so much! I am very excited about this new feature and plan on having some fun in the kitchen! Best to you, Aaron and Baby Pinkston! Laura

    • Jen Pinkston


      Laura, I am so glad you guys enjoyed the salad! I will definitely have to try it as a side to pork tenderloin– that sounds delicious! I can’t wait to get your opinion on all of our upcoming recipes!

  2. Pingback Happy friday / friday list | littlebearsinoxford

  3. This just sounds incredible!

  4. Wow, what a great husband! Also, very kind of your local chefs to share their secrets! Double win!

    • Jen Pinkston


      Double win for sure! We are shooting our next feature today– it’s going to be so good!

  5. Molly {Dreams in HD}


    how sweet of aaron to plan your mom’s surprise trip!
    and so excited about this new feature. i can’t tell you how many times i have said “why does this _____ taste SO much better than ours?” while at dinner with my boyfriend 🙂

    • Jen Pinkston


      Oh my gosh, I say the same thing all of the time! We had root vegetables at an Italian spot on Saturday night that were so delicious! I’ve added them to my list for this little series 😉

      PS. He is the sweetest husband!

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