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.
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
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
- ¼ cup shaved aged parmesan (optional)
- ¾ 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.
Photography by Jordana Sheara