Warmer weather inspires me to make light, fresh grain salads, with brightly colored fruits and vegetables. This salad is made with my favorite grain, farro (read more about farro), and topped with tart blood oranges, sweet kumquats, roasted beets, and creamy avocado. Soon enough, the weather will be nice enough to take salads like this one with us to the park for a little picnic.
My inspiration for recipes comes from a variety of sources, from perusing library cookbooks, to eating out, or in this case, visiting other blogs. This recipe is one I bookmarked several years ago, from Love and Olive Oil, and rediscovered it when I was searching for a recipe using early spring vegetables. I changed it up a little adding my own little twists, like using these pink striped rainbow beets, and tossing in a little kale. It turned out to be light and fresh, perfect for the final days of pregnancy when your stomach can’t fit much or for those days leading up to swimsuit season.
Though we are not counting down to swimsuit season this year (or really any year for that matter – I am not
a big beach or pool gal), we are counting down the weeks until our little one arrives and we can pack up simple salads like this one and wander over to the park by our house for a quiet picnic outside. It won’t be long now!!
Here are a few other grain salad recipes to store up for Spring and Summer days:
Quinoa Salad for a Crowd (made this for a wedding last summer)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
- zest from one blood orange
- zest from half of one lime
- juice from one blood orange
- juice from half of one lime
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup uncooked farro
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 blood oranges, peeled and sectioned
- 1/2 avocado, diced
- one handful of chopped fresh kale
- 6 whole kumquats, seeded and sliced
- 1 large beet, (I used rainbow beets), sliced thin and roasted
- Roast the beet by peeling, slicing them thin, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then placing them in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes (or until desired tenderness), occasionally stirring to make sure they cook evenly.
- To prepare farro, bring about 4 cups of salted water to a boil. Add the grain then cover and simmer until the farro becomes tender and chewy, about 30-40 minutes.
- Prepare dressing by combining first 10 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Set aside.
- Combine farro, salt, blood orange sections, avocado, kale, and kumquats in a large bowl, tossing gently to combine. Add dressing; toss gently to coat salad. Place beets around each plate then top with farro salad, drizzle with more dressing if needed.