Brussels Sprout and Farro Salad
The greenmarket is a constant source for inspiration. Right now it’s full of Brussels sprouts on their stalks. I recently picked one up and made this salad of raw and roasted Brussels sprouts with farro and parmesan. I liked it enough to put it on the list of possible Thanksgiving side dishes this year. Use one whole stalk for this recipe. This recipe can really be made to taste, the measurements are loose, and can be adjusted as you like.
Use a paring knife to trim the sprouts from the stalk. Separate and reserve the big leafy tops, and any leaves that fall while you’re trimming the sprouts. Wash the sprouts and the leaves separately. Set the leaves aside for now.
I shave my brussels sprouts in a food processor, using the slicing blade. If you don’t have one, you can use a mandoline, it’ll just take a little longer.
Once your sprouts are shaved, make the dressing. I like to make dressings in jars. I used up the last of the mustard in a 7oz. jar. To do the same, take the end of a 7oz. jar of mustard, any kind, and add:
1 small shallot that’s been minced
another tablespoon of mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
Then fill the jar halfway with sherry vinegar, and shake well. Fill the jar the rest of the way with extra virgin olive oil and shake well again.
Dress the shaved sprouts with as much as you need. Add shaved parmesan -- use as much as you like, up to about ½ cup, or none at all if you prefer. Squeeze ½ a lemon over the mixture and taste for seasoning, adding salt if necessary. Now, depending on how crunchy or soft you prefer your brussels sprouts, you can let this marinate for a few hours in the fridge, or just set it aside while you’re preparing the last few parts of the recipe. The longer they marinate, the softer they’ll be.
In a saucepan, cover ½ cup farro with plenty of water, and add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Drain the farro and discard the cooking water. In a saute pan, melt 1 teaspoon butter with 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium-high heat, then toast the farro until it’s golden.
Lightly toss the loose leaves, with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast at 425ºF until brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Make sure to stir them a few times while they’re roasting.
Toss the marinated sprouts with the toasted farro, and serve on a platter with the roasted leaves and some more shaved parmesan scattered over.