RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS
Earlier this season, I created an entire country pic nic menu based around local, seasonal ingredients. Most of the produce in those recipes was from Riverbend Gardens, and I rounded it out with a few things from my personal garden.
I invited a bunch of women to experience the meal and it turned out wonderfully! Everyone enjoyed being out at the farm and tasting the produce that had grown just feet away from where they ate. More on the whole experience in a future post, I promise.
Making friends with the underdog
When I came up with the flavors of this salad, I thought long and hard about the best way to make roasted beets shine. They're such an underdog in most kitchens, often overlooked for a more exciting or familiar vegetable. Yet, they have such a beautiful flavor, slightly sweet and earthy, especially when they are quite small and fresh.
I decided to riff off of this recipe that I did last year, which was an instant favorite in our house.
Pairing for flavor
I decided to pair them with spicy winter mix (which is a leaf salad mixture that includes mustard greens, leaf lettuce & Asian greens). It packs a little bit of punch and holds up well on it's own, which is why we grow so much of it every year in our garden. If you like arugula, which could be used instead, odds are you will enjoy this too!
Then, to contrast the sweetness that develops in the beets when roasting them, I topped the salad with a generous amount of freshly picked raspberries which have a delightful tartness to them. Of course, you can replace them with the store bought kind, but if you can sneak off to a UPick farm and get them fresh, you won't regret it.
Making a meal of it
To transform this wonderful side dish into a main worthy of summer vibes and without competing with the beets, I turned to my friends at Eat Grain. They have a wonderful Canadian grown farro that pairs so well with beets! Plus it's full of fiber and protein which keeps you fuller longer.
wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, vegetarian
1 C farro, cooked
10-12 small beets
4 C winter mix or arugula
1 pint raspberries
Balsamic glaze & olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
10 MIN PREP + 30 MINS COOK
Start by washing your beets well & removing the tops to create a flat surface.
Toss the beets in a little bit of olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and place cut side down on a lined baking sheet.
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, then check for tenderness by poking one with a fork, bake for 10 minutes more if they are still quite hard. Keep in mind that a little crunch is fine!
Let your beets cool.
In a large bowl, place your greens and farro in layers ending with a sprinkle of farro.
Then top with raspberries, beets and a drizzle of balsamic & olive oil.
Note: If you’re on a wheat free diet, you can swap the farro for quinoa or wild rice!