Farro, Roasted Beet and Feta Salad.

When it comes to Birmingham restaurants, Bottega Cafe is high on my favorites list. The chef, owner of several great spots in town, is a bit of a local icon. I’m convinced that’s because of his emphasis on high-quality, local ingredients.

Farm fresh ingredients mean that Bottega’s menu is exceptionally seasonal. As in, the selection might be entirely different from day to day. I’m all for variety, but that does get a little frustrating when you have a favorite. Such is my story with farro salad.

In the winter, Bottega sometimes serves a simple salad of arugala, farro, roasted beets and feta. I adore it. And since it’s practically never on the menu, I had to recreate it at home:

For the farro mix

3 cups cooked farro

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

*Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. That’s it! The longer the salad sits, the better it tastes.

 

For your topping pleasure

roasted beets (I used the Oh She Glows method)

block style feta cheese

arugala

Greek seasoning —>I put this stuff on everything!

This makes 4 appetizer salads or 3 entrees. My entree (pictured above) included about 2 cups arugala, 3/4 cup farro and 1/4 cup each feta and beets. We topped Vore’s salad the same way, but added a piece of swordfish to give it a little staying power.

I’ll leave you with a word of warning: Beets make EVERYTHING red, including the hands that slice them. Be prepared for some short-term stained fingers and for goodness’ sake, wear an apron!