Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Farro, Dried Apricots

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When you first work with highly flavored vegetables and grains, there’s little need to get too fussy. (That’ll come.) It’s important to let them first stand on their own. By combining whole-grain farro with crunchy nuts and tart dried apricots, we’re letting these ingredients speak for themselves, as it were. That said, you also have to think about balance. So the surprise here that lets all three take equal billing is the bitterness in the two green vegetables: the Brussels sprouts and the arugula. Think of it this way: A bitter aperitif like Campari is said to set the stage for sweeter flavors to come in the dinner ahead. That’s happening here, all on one plate.

Ingredients

  • cup whole-grain farro
  • 1 ½ pounds small Brussels sprouts, halved
  • cup olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • ½ cup chopped dried apricots
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 8 cups baby arugula

Method

  1. Soak the farro in a big bowl of cool water for at least 8 hours or up to 16 hours.
  2. Drain the farro in a small-holed colander set in the sink, then pour it into a large saucepan. Fill the saucepan about two-thirds with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir well, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until tender, stirring occasionally, about 50 minutes.
  3. Drain the farro again in that colander, then rinse the grains with cool tap water to stop the cooking. Drain thoroughly.
  4. Position the rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400°F.
  5. Toss the Brussels sprouts in a large roasting pan with the oil. Roast until lightly browned and crisp-tender, tossing occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  6. Transfer the roasting pan to a wire rack. Stir in the walnuts, apricots, and cooked farro. Whisk the vinegar, honey, and mustard in a small bowl. Scrape the mixture into the warm roasting pan and toss well.
  7. Pile the arugula on small serving plates. Spoon the warm Brussels sprouts mixture and any pan juices over the greens to serve.

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