Farro, Golden Beet, and Feta Salad with​ ​Pecans and Chive-Sage Dressing

By • October 2, 2013 • 22 Comments

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Author Notes: This is a beautifully autumnal dish, although I admit to making it year-round. Farro is such a delicious grain​,​ and when paired with roasted golden beets, tangy feta, pecans glazed with maple, and cayenne​ and​ then dressed with a fresh herb dressing of chive-sage oil and lemon, ​it makes for a healthy side that bursts with flavor and seasonal freshness.​​ It adds a visual wow to your table too!em-i-lis

Food52 Review: WHO: Em-i-lis is a stay-at-home mom and avid cook living in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two sons.
WHAT: A farro and beet side that ​'s just as ​​refreshing​ as it is hearty
HOW: While the beets are roasting in the oven, cook the farro.​ Meanwhile,​ cook the chives and sage in a saucepan with olive oil and lemon juice ​and, in another pan, coat the pecans in warm maple syrup. Toss the cooked farro​ and​ chopped beets​ together with​ ​the pecans and some ​crumbled feta​ ​pecans, then pour the warm herbed olive oil dressing over the mix.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This warm autumn salad -- hold the lettuce -- is exactly the kind of thing we want to be eating while the temperature outside continues to drop. The herbed dressing paired with the farro and beets make it both filling and comforting, enough so that I enjoyed it as my main dish for dinner. If you can't find yellow beets, red beets work fine, though you'd be missing out on the bright addition this golden mix brings to your dinner table.
The Editors

Serves 4 to 6

  • 3 golden beets
  • 1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
  • 1 dash (small) cayenne pepper
  • Piece of foil sprayed with nonstick spray
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta (preferably a good-quality tangy and creamy one in water so it's not too dry)
  1. Preheat the oven to 385° F. Wash and trim (but don’t peel) the beets, and wrap them individually in foil or place them snugly in a small baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Cook 35 to 45 minutes, or until easily pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and let cool until you can peel them. Peel and chop into 1/2-inch cubes, then set aside.
  2. In the meantime, pour the broth into a 2-quart saucepan, cover and bring to a boil. When it’s boiling, pour in the farro, reduce the heat so that you can maintain a nice simmer, and cook until just on the tender side of al dente, 15 to 25 minutes. Drain and reserve.
  3. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan until very warm. Remove from heat and add the chopped chives and sage as well as 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, the lemon juice, and at least 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Whisk together and then let rest until you need it.
  4. In a small skillet set over medium heat, add the pecans. When the skillet is warm, pour in the maple syrup and the dash of cayenne. Stir continuously until the pecans are evenly coated and the syrup is bubbling nicely. Pour onto the sprayed sheet of foil and let cool.
  5. In a mixing bowl, toss together the cooked farro, chopped beets, crumbled feta, and pecans. Whisk the herbed oil dressing again and pour it over the farro salad. Stir gently until well combined and add salt to taste.
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Comments (22) Questions (0)

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4 months ago 4aces

full disclosure: this is alot of work for me to consider for a salad...having said that...wow! it was totally worth it! so delish! i'm always looking for ways to have more beets in my life & to use sage (underappreciated, imo) and this was just perfect! i'll be making this again. thank you for posting. :)

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4 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hey there 4aces, I'm so glad you took the plunge and feel it's worth it. Agree with you on sage being underappreciated! This is one of my fave dishes, and I'm really happy you liked it too!

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4 months ago Chelsea Poynton

Delish!! Thank you... I added chopped romaine, radicchio, and raw green beans for crunch and greenery as well as homemade tumeric-pickled fennel and onions.... yum yum!

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4 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm so happy you enjoyed it!!

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4 months ago Sugartoast

Yeah, congratulations!! Love this dish, and lucky me, I've had the pleasure of having it made by the chef herself :)

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4 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Aw, thanks! :)

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4 months ago Jess

Love beets in all their guises, so I'm sure I'll love this. Question: what do you estimate the weight (or measuring cup) of the beets to be?

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4 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Jess, About a pound of beets, give or take. It's fairly flexible, but that's usually the rough weight of what I include! :)

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4 months ago Jess

Emily, thank you so much for your answer. I appreciate the info!

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4 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Of course! I hope you enjoy the salad!

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4 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

My kind of salad! I usually have beets (sometimes pickled, sometimes not, often some of each!) in my fridge this time of year, so I'm looking forward to making this, soon. (Bet the beet greens, sliced thinly and sauteed briefly in the pan used to warms the herbs, would make this even better.) Congrats on the Wildcard win. ;o)

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4 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks, AJ! I hope you enjoy it!

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4 months ago Kukla

Congratulations Emily! I love all kind of grain salads.

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4 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much, Kukla!! Me too!

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4 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations Emily, I love this salad, funny I see it because I made it yesterday. It is delicious and a well deserved WC.

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4 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh, I love it. :) Thanks, Suzanne! I really appreciate your note. Hope you're well!

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4 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I think it's wonderful served with Salmon yesterday.

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4 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Perfect!

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over 1 year ago Bevi

Gorgeous! and beautiful photo.

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over 1 year ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you, Bevi! This is one of my favorite new dishes- I kept hoping my husband didn't love it as much bc then there'd be more for me. :)

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over 1 year ago Midge

Love the beet/feta/farro combo. Saved!

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over 1 year ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much, midge!!!