Citrus Roasted Brussel Sprout and Farro Salad

I have never been a fan of brussel sprouts. My exposure to them as a child was mostly at our holiday family dinners where my grandmother would steam them to death then smother them in butter. During the cooking process, they would permeate the kitchen with this old gym sock odor, even overpowering the delicious roasted turkey smells wafting from the oven. On the table, the brussel sprouts were globs of pale green in a bowl that had difficulty getting past my gag reflex.

Citrus Roasted Brussel Sprout and Farro Salad

Steaming the brussel sprouts for just 5 minutes first helps them to roast up better.

Then this past year everything changed. At a family gathering, my sister brought a dish of brussel sprouts and leeks roasted in balsamic vinegar. They had this amazing, caramelized flavor, enhanced by the sweet balsamic vinegar. I even went back for seconds. My entire opinion of these tender little buds was altered.

So it was with excitement a few weeks ago that I spied the salad of the day at a tasty local bake shop in my neighborhood, Bushel and Peck: roasted brussel sprout salad. They had combined roasted brussel sprouts with orzo, cherry tomatoes, and feta in a poppyseed vinaigrette for a salad that was unexpectedly light and absolutely delicious. I had to recreate it, with my own twist of course.

Citrus Roasted Brussel Sprout and Farro Salad

Roasted brussel sprouts have a beautiful golden glow and a delicious, caramelized flavor.

I wanted to make the salad a little heartier for a dinner entree and my mind immediately turned to farro. I discovered farro a few months ago from Bob’s Red Mill. Farro is a grain, hailing from the Mediterranean, that has been around for centuries – estimates are as early as 8000 B.C. – and is common in cooking in that region, history suggests that farro was a staple of the ancient Romans diet. Raw, it closely resembles barley. Cooked, it retains a slightly crunchy exterior for a nutty taste. Farro is hearty and filling, so a little goes along way, and it’s a great source of fiber. I especially love the farro from Bob’s Red Mill because it’s a quality, organic product, and I get to support a great local, employee-owned business that has a national presence.

I changed the dish up even more by bringing in a citrus flavor. First, I roasted the brussel sprouts in a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice. Then, I used lemon juice in the dressing, with a bit of thyme to play off the lemon and a teaspoon of honey to offset the tartness of the lemon. I also swapped the feta out for goat cheese, which is a bit milder and lets the flavor of the other ingredients shine through. The cherry tomatoes bring a sweet burst of fresh flavor to the salad, but the cherry on top is really the zante currants.

Citrus Roasted Brussel Sprout and Farro Salad

The finished product is as pretty on the plate as it is delicious in the mouth. I love the mix of colors in this Citrus Roasted Brussel Sprout and Farro Salad.

Make sure to use zante currants for this dish and not black or red currants. Zante currants are dried berries of the small, sweet, seedless grape cultivar Black Corinth. Whereas black, red and white currants are dried berries from woody shrubs that are completely unrelated. Zante currants are more flavorful and add just the right sweetness to this dish.

Needless to say, I have become a brussel sprout convert. They are in season now, so don’t miss out on these little gems of autumn. I, for one, am already working on additional recipes while I can still get my hands on them. How do you prepare brussel sprouts in your kitchen?

 

 

Citrus Roasted Brussel Sprout and Farro Salad
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2
  • Serving size: ½ of salad
  • Calories: 511.4
  • Fat: 18.8
  • Saturated fat: 3.9
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.7
  • Carbohydrates: 72.1
  • Sugar: 21.0
  • Sodium: 203.9
  • Fiber: 13.4
  • Protein: 13.7
  • Cholesterol: 5.0
Recipe type: Salad
Tender brussel sprouts are roasted to smoky, sweet perfection and tossed with nutty farro in a lemon-honey-poppy seed vinaigrette for an easy, healthy entree salad.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup dry farro
  • ½ lb. fresh brussel sprouts, halved
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • pinch of coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup zante currants
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp poppy seeds
Instructions
  1. Cook farro according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Preheat oven to 375.
  3. Place the brussel sprouts in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Whisk together 1 tbsp of the olive oil, juice of ½ of the lemon, and a pinch of coarse sea salt.
  5. Toss the steamed brussel sprouts with the oil-lemon mixture and spread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes on each side, a total of 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
  6. In a medium salad bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil, juice of the remaining ½ lemon, honey, thyme and poppy seeds.
  7. Add in the cooked farro, roasted brussel sprouts, tomatoes, currants, goat cheese and parsley. Toss so that everything is well combined and serve.
Notes
The majority of fat and calories in this recipe comes from the olive oil, which is a healthy fat. If you want to reduce the amount of oil used, eliminate the 1 tbsp olive oil from the dressing.

 

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Colleen Fields is a food enthusiast and healthy lifestyle convert who has married these two interests to create delicious dishes that lead to long term weight loss success. As a single, working mom, Colleen struggled with her weight for years and tried every diet out there without success. When she began her weight loss journey, she realized that her cooking style needed to change. However, Colleen recognized that the only “healthy” cookbooks and television shows available focused on deprivational diets rather than behavioral changes that lead to long term weight loss success. As a result, she began experimenting and creating her own dishes. By eating smarter and moving more, Colleen took back her life and has lost over 100 pounds, going from a size 26W to a size 12, and maintains her weight today. Through her food blog, www.colleens-kitchen.com, and cookbooks Colleen hopes to share her success with others struggling with obesity and demonstrate that a healthy lifestyle is not only obtainable, but it is also sustainable. Follow Colleen on Facebook, , Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube.