A beet salad with arugula, goat cheese, barley aaaaaand fennel.
With grocery purchases being guided more and more by nutritional viability, there has been a surge in the popularity of a variety of ancient grains – quinoa and beyond. And thank God for the beyond. I’m sorry, but quinoa is just… unextraordinary. But farro! I get down with farro. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to move beyond the world of rice and quinoa and into the world of bulgur and wheat berries. TJ’s has 10 minute farro in the grain section, with a recipe on the bag for farro with sausage and apple. It is delightful.
In my mad enthusiasm for ancient grains, I bookmarked this recipe featuring barley and fennel – which I have never cooked with, but presumably consumed at some point before. I love barley, I love beets, I love mint, what could go wrong?
I discovered I do not love fennel. Tastes like licorice, which tastes like jäger, which I threw up one time and now gag upon smelling. I’ll work on it because I sincerely believe that food allergies aside, every person has the potential to acquire a taste for every food. But I’m not there yet with fennel.
Also, wasn’t really down for raw beets (only in slaws), so I roasted them, as some of the recipe’s commenters suggested. Even after some roasting, they were too crunchy, but that’s more my fault than the recipe’s. I added spinach, because I will throw spinach in just about anything for a nutrition boost. I also added some goat cheese because I have conditioned myself to crave goat cheese when I eat beets and this salad really needed some help.
This recipe gets 5/5 in grain choice and color, but 2/5 from me otherwise. Edible, yes. Enjoyable? Not really.