With all this snow these days, I’ve been on a big Brussels sprout kick lately. It’s such a great cold weather vegetable and is often underestimated by many. The key with Brussels sprouts is to cook them correctly. Roasting is a fantastic way to bring out the best flavor, transforming them into these sweet and nutty cute little cabbage-like veggies. Roasting does take some time though, so if you’re in a hurry like I have been lately, sautéing shaved Brussels sprouts is the way to go. Here I sauté them with some shallots and garlic to add more flavor, but they would still taste great without these aromatic veggies. And in case you need reminding, boiling Brussels sprouts is not a good option. It’s super easy to over cook and turn a beautiful cruciferous veggie into a soggy smelly mess! Not so appetizing…
Farro is another food I turn to when it’s chilly. Its nutty flavor and hearty chewier texture pairs so well with Brussels sprouts. Farro is an ancient wheat grain that does contain gluten, but lower amounts than modern wheat. It also contains loads of fiber (even more than quinoa or brown rice), B vitamins, zinc, and iron. It’s considered a good source of plant-based protein and contains equal amounts of protein when compared to legumes! This ancient wheat is a nutritional powerhouse, especially when compared to typical wheat sources in our modern society. If you don’t have a gluten sensitivity, this is great choice to add healthy complex carbohydrates into your diet! Eat this now – spring weather is right around the corner!
BRUSSELS SPROUT FARRO SALAD
I like to use my food processor to shave Brussel sprouts. The slicing attachment makes it a breeze. If you don't own a food processor, you can buy shaved Brussel sprouts done for you!
- 1 cup farro semi-pearled
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil cold pressed
- 1 shallot minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 12 oz Brussels sprouts shaved
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts toasted
- 1/4 cup parsley chopped
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil cold pressed
- 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- sea salt and pepper to taste
Rinse farro well in a fine mesh strainer. Put 3 cups of water and farro in a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 15 - 20 minutes, until farro is slightly al denté. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic. Sauté until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add shaved Brussels sprouts and a dash or two of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Sauté until lightly cooked, but still a bit firm.
To make dressing, put all dressing ingredients in a mason jar and shake well.
To toast hazelnuts, spread nuts on a baking sheet in one layer. Bake at 350F for 8 minutes, shaking pan halfway through. Allow nuts to cool enough to handle. Roll hazelnuts between pincher fingers to remove skin. Chop coarsely.
In a large bowl, combine farro, Brussels sprouts, cherry tomatoes and parsley. Add dressing, to taste, and toss well. Top with toasted hazelnuts.