Salad of farro, baby beetroots, gorgonzola & candied walnuts

The caramelised walnuts bring crunch and sweetness to the salad, which works well with the gorgonzola. If it's too much effort, just use toasted walnuts instead. Gorgonzola dolce is a sweet, soft, creamy and milky cheese with hints of spice. The picante variety is usually aged, more sharp, gutsy, firmer and more crumbly.


  • 1 bunch baby red beetroot
  • 1 bunch baby golden beetroot
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ⅔ cup soft brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 160g farro perlato
  • 100g gorgonzola dolce
  • A small handful of dill sprigs

  • For the walnuts
  • ½ cup walnut pieces
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying

  • For the dressing
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 small cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


Trim beetroot stalks, leaving 1cm stem on the end. Wash thoroughly. Place unpeeled beetroot in a saucepan with vinegar, brown sugar and bay leaf. Cover with cold water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes (depending on their size). Drain, cool, cut off ends and peel away skins. Cut into halves or quarters if very large.

For the farro, bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add farro, return to the boil, reduce heat to low and cook until tender (10-15 minutes). Drain and set aside to cool.

For the walnuts, blanch in boiling water, immediately remove and drain. Toss in caster sugar and shake away excess. Deep-fry walnuts in vegetable oil until caramelised (about a minute). Set aside on paper towel to cool.

For the dressing, whisk all ingredients in a bowl to combine.

Mix farro, walnuts and half the dressing. Divide among four plates, place gorgonzola and beetroot on top. Drizzle with remaining dressing and garnish with dill.

NOTES: Want something to drink?
The Yarra Valley isn't generally known for its sangiovese, however this 2013 De Bortoli Vinoque makes you wonder why more isn't made. We see classic dark cherries, dried herbs, olive tapenade and crunchy acidity finished with dusty tannins, which all scream for food.

First published in the Good Weekend.