This is a salad for salad skeptics, Brussels sprouts skeptic, and anyone who doesn’t believe a side dish can be the brightest spot on the plate. Grab your big spoon, because you are going to want an enormous helping of Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon, Farro, and Blue Cheese.
Warm Brussels sprouts salad is not to be taken lightly. This is a big-spoon situation.
The ideal serving size of will unabashedly dwarf whatever else on the plate has the nerve to call itself the “main” dish.
Salty-sweet-nutty-crunchy-creamy this Brussels sprouts and farro salad is a flavor bonanza that steals the dinner show, no apologies.
Now, if you paused at the words “Brussels Sprouts,” fear not.
High temperature oven roasting transforms the little green guys into caramelized vegetable candy. (We gobble these oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts right off the pan!).
Yes, I just typed the words “vegetable candy.”
Did I mention there’s bacon?
Speaking of bacon…maple syrup.
As the reviews on these Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts can attest, it makes for a magnificent combination.
We add a touch of maple syrup to the dressing for that perfect sweet balance our salty bacon and blue cheese demand.
Maple syrup and walnuts are mutual friends, plus walnuts boast a killer crunch factor, so let’s add them too.
Recap: our salad is officially loaded with goodies!
- Toasty toasty Brussels Sprouts
- Big blue cheese
- Thick-cut bacon
- Crunchy walnuts.
Now, all we need is the right vehicle to hold our tasty elements together. Enter: farro.
If you are not familiar with farro, it is a whole grain with a pleasantly firm texture and nutty flavor.
Farro is an ancient grain that’s been around since B.C. times but has only recently reemerged in American diets.
A versatile grain, you can even serve it with stir fry recipes in place of white rice, as its higher in fiber, nutrients, and all-around tastiness.
One bite of this Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad and you will be all up in, around, and under its rich combination of flavors.
Tasty whole grains, tangy blue cheese, salty bacon, sweet maple syrup, and crunchy walnuts join forces to create one super-fab fall side that will have you wondering why these ingredients aren’t all sold next to each other at the grocery store!
Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon, Farro, and Blue Cheese
- 1 cup farro or substitute brown rice, wheat berries, or any other sturdy whole grain you enjoy
- 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper divided
- 3 slices thick-cut bacon cooked
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or other mild blue cheese (3 ounces)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Prepare the farro according to package instructions. Drain and set aside
- Meanwhile, place rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and remove any yellow outer leaves. Slice in half length-wise, then spread onto a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Toss to coat. Roast Brussels sprouts for 35 to 40 minutes, until soft and lightly blistered, shaking the pan every 15 minutes to promote even browning.
- If necessary, cook the bacon according to these easy steps. When cool enough to handle, chop roughly.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Place walnuts into skillet and toast, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes (decrease the temperature if the walnuts begin to brown too quickly.) Add the cooked farro berries, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring, until the farro is heated through, about 2 minutes. Drizzle with maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. Add roasted Brussels sprouts and bacon, stir to toss, then remove pan from heat.
- Quickly stir in 1/2 cup cheese until it begins to melt. Top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and parsley. Serve immediately.
- Cook farro up to 1 day in advance. Store in the refrigerator until ready to finish the salad.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat carefully in the microwave.
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