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3 Delicious Vegan Salads for Summer: Beet and Fennel Grain Salad

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 563kcal
Author: Nisha Vora


Salad Base

  • 3 to 5 cups arugula chopped if pieces are quite large
  • 1 cup pearled or semi-pearled farro


  • 1 medium or large fennel bulb (reserve the fronds)
  • 3 medium beets


  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 large avocado, sliced thinly or diced
  • 1 handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 small handful of fresh dill, finely chopped

Citrus-Date Vinaigrette (makes about ½ cup dressing)

  • 2 Medjool dates, pitted (if they're not soft; soak in warm water for 5-10 minutes)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (or whole grain mustard)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Water, as needed


  • Roast the Beets. Skip this step if using pre-cooked beets.
    1. Preheat the oven to 425°F/218°C.
    2. Prep the beets. Trim off the greens and most of the stalks. Do not trim the beet tails (it results in less juicy beets). Wash and scrub the beets clean.
    3. Lightly rub the beets in olive oil. Place the beets in an ovenproof casserole-style or baking dish and cover. Roast for 45-90 minutes, depending on the size of your beets, or until fork-tender. Medium-sized beets usually take 1 hour.
    4. When beets are cool enough to touch, run them under cool water and peel off the skins. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Cook the Farro. Bring 2 ½ cups (600 mL) of water to a boil and season well with salt. Once boiling, add the farro and any seasonings of choice (black pepper, garlic cloves, bay leaf). Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until al dente – tender yet chewy (15-20 minutes for pearled farro; 20-30 minutes for semi-pearled farro). Drain in a sieve. If you have the time, spread the farro out on a pan to dry.
  • Slice the Fennel: Chop off the fennel stalks off and reserve the fennel fronds. Slice the fennel bulbs in half, lengthwise, through the core. Then slice each half lengthwise again. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, very thinly slice the fennel crosswise.
  • Toast the Walnuts: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add walnuts in a single layer, stir frequently, until browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • Make the Citrus-Date Vinaigrette: Add all ingredients except for water to a food processor and blend until smooth. With motor running, drizzle in a few spoons of water until desired consistency; season to taste. Store leftovers in the fridge in a glass jar for a week.
  • Assemble the Salad: Layer arugula and cooked farro into a salad bowl or serving bowl. Top with sliced fennel, roasted beets, toasted walnuts, sliced avocado, chopped parsley and dill, and fennel fronds. Drizzle on the Citrus-Date Vinaigrette and toss to combine.


Note: The measurements for the salad ingredients are just rough guides. I rarely follow a specific recipe for salads and just eyeball the amounts.