If you have been following along, I have been preparing, eating, and posting a lot of salads lately. I am loving our shift to a more plant based diet, but I just cannot do leafy salads everyday! I need salads with texture, crunch, flavors, protein, color, and variety. I think I have been doing fairly well creating and compiling a good collection of resources. Here is one of my absolutely best and favorite salads! Who has been OBSESSED with yummy, caramelized, roasted brussels sprouts?! Me! Me! Me! I die for it. If its on a menu, I order it. Always.
This hearty salad incorporates roasted brussels sprouts, crunchy and chewy farro, sweet apples and raisins, toasted pepitas, and zesty lemon juice with shallots. What a flavor bomb!
This salad is so easy to prepare, with the most tedious step being washing and preparing the brussels sprouts. Sometimes you can find them already trimmed and washed, which is convenient. I always prefer to trim and carefully wash brussels sprouts myself. Once they’re all prepared, lay them flat on a large, flat pan, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees (F) and voila! Be sure to save these to roast and then add onto the salad right before serving, because they are so delicious crunchy. If you toss them in the salad and let it sit, they will get soft.
For the farro, I have started cooking it the way renown chefs do at SoHo’s Charlie Bird Restaurant. Cooking the farro with 1 cup of apple cider and bay leaves, makes it perfectly scented and flavored to toss with the rest of my aromatic autumnal ingredients: apples, pepitas, and raisins.
- 1 cup farro
- 1 cup cider
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 medium apple, diced
- 1/2 c red onion, diced
- 1/2 c golden raisins
- 1 lb brussels sprouts (about 2 cups)
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 large lemon
- 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 tsp salt (to taste)
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp minced shallot
- 1/4 c pepitas
- chopped parsley for garnish, optional
- Cook the farro in the cider, with 1.5 cups of water, the bay leaves and cinnamon. Once it boils, turn the heat to low, and cover. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Allow farro to cool before adding to the salad. Refrigeration for at least 1 hour is recommended.
- Prepare the brussels sprouts by washing, peeling the outer leaves, trimming the stem on the bottom, and cutting in half. Lay the brussels in a large flat pan, and drizzle with 1-2 tbsp of the olive oil, some salt and pepper, and the minced garlic. Set aside to roast right before serving the salad.
- Toss the farro with the apples, raisins, and red onions.
- Zest the lemon peel with a zester, and then juice the lemon. Stir the lemon juice with the shallots, remaining olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss with the farro salad mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roast the brussels sprouts for about 25 minutes, until golden and crispy. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and add to the salad immediately before serving.
- Toast the pepitas in a pan over medium heat, until aromatic. Toss the pepitas on top of the salad.