This salad is simply chock-full of all kinds of good stuff--sweet, tender beets; the crisp snap of zucchini; fennel's anise crunch; and chewy-tender farro. You can make it up to two days ahead; just leave out the watercress until shortly before serving.
1 pound golden beets, scrubbed
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup uncooked farro
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped dried figs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups very thinly sliced fennel bulb
1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed zucchini
3 ounces watercress
1/2 cup chopped unsalted roasted almonds
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Leave root and 1-inch stem on beets. Rub beets with 1 tablespoon oil; wrap beets tightly in foil. Roast beets at 400° for 1 1/2 hours or until very tender. Cool for 15 minutes. Trim off beet roots; rub off skins. Discard roots and skins. Cut beets into wedges.
Cook farro according to package directions; drain. Rinse farro under cold water; drain well. Spread farro out on paper towels to dry out slightly.
Place vinegar and figs in a small saucepan. Cover and cook gently for 10 minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat; cool completely. Place vinegar mixture, thyme, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; gradually add remaining 5 tablespoons oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add beet wedges, farro, fennel, zucchini, and watercress to bowl; toss to coat. Sprinkle salad with almonds.
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