I first discovered farro at a fast casual restaurant called Tender Greens. It’s a terrific place to get nicely prepared salads, plates and sandwiches. I sometimes like to get a salad they call the Happy Vegan (which I add chicken or steak to and then they call it the Angry Vegan) that comes with a farro salad. I made it for my family once, and happily discovered that they like it too! Here’s a great way to make it into a one dish, simple, hearty dinner.
1 1/2 cups farro
1 lb italian sausage (use turkey sausage to make it healthier)
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved – quartered if they are big
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Aged balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400°. Place brussels sprouts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper and toss to make sure they are coated well. Roast in oven for 15 minutes, until tender. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Meanwhile, place farro in medium pot with water and a teaspoon of salt. Bring to boil and let simmer for 20 minutes (if they are quick cook farro, boil for 10 minutes). Check for doneness, it should be tender but still have a slight bite. Drain and put back into the pot.
While farro and brussels sprouts are cooking, cook the sausage. Heat a large pan over medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onions with a pinch of salt and sauté onions until translucent. Then add garlic and sauté for a couple minutes. Remove sausage from casings and add to pan, breaking down the sausage with a fork. Cook until cooked all the way through, about 10 minutes.
Add in farro and brussels sprouts into the pan with the sausage mixture. Add pine nuts and drizzle more balsamic vinegar, mix and serve warm.