Take farro to a whole new level with this bacon and brussels sprout farro salad!  Explore this ancient, nutritious grain with the familiar and mouth watering bacon and brussels sprouts flavors.  The perfect side to your next meal!

bacon and brussels sprouts farro salad

You guys, this bacon and brussels sprout farro salad combines two amazing memories that are specifically tied to my Aunt Arlene.  Bacon and brussels sprouts and trying new to me ancient grains.  The flavors are spot on, but then the memories that pop into my head make it even tastier.

Do certain foods spark memories for you?  I remembering being blown away one thanksgiving many years ago when I tasted bacon and brussels sprouts for the first time.  That’s really when my love for brussels sprouts began, and I haven’t turns back since.  Brussels sprouts are the best!  Then again, at another thanksgiving my aunt introduced us to a variety of ancient grains as a side, and I just loved it.  She is always experimenting in the kitchen and eager to add unprocessed, nutritious foods in.  She’s such an inspiration and an encouragement to me.

What is farro?

Now you might be thinking, well, what is farro?  Farro is an ancient type of wheat grain that has been eaten for thousands of years all over the world.  It is the whole, unrefined grain, and has a slightly chewy texture.  I really love the texture as it doesn’t turn into mush and the grains don’t clump together, which makes it great to add to salads or soups.

Want to know the reason we had farro in the house?  The kids and I were grocery shopping in the bulk section and I just asked them which of a few different grains they wanted to try out.  Farro was the pick!  I’m so glad.  It had been such a long time since I had eaten it, and it’s really dang delicious!

6 nutrition benefits of farro

The nutrition powerhouse of farro

Here are 6 nutrition benefits of farro to get you excited to try it! (source)

  • High in fiber (7-8 grams per 1/2 cup)
  • Improved immunity and heart health (contains resistant starch, oligosaccharides and antioxidants, including phenolic compounds that have been linked to disease prevention)
  • Good source of protein (7-8 grams per 1/2 cup)
  • High in the B vitamins (B vitamins are important for brain health, maintaining high energy levels, neurotransmitter function and for supporting the central nervous system)
  • Good source of antioxidants (contains the antioxidant plant lignans, which are known to reduce inflammation)
  • Provides iron, magnesium and zinc (vitamins that help prevent anemia, support brain health and prevent muscle cramps)

Now that you want to try farro, I have the perfect recipe for you to start with!  Farro cooks simply on the stove top OR even better, in the rice cooker.  I have this rice cooker and love it.  Combine farro with bacon and brussels sprouts for a new family favorite!

bacon and brussels sprout farro salad

Bacon and Brussels Sprout Farro Salad

Makes 6-8 servings as a side dish

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups farro
  • 4 slices of bacon, cut into pieces
  • 4 cups shaved brussels sprouts (or sliced thinly)
  • 1 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (plus extra for serving)

Directions

  1. In a medium pot, add the farro, 4 cups of water and 1/2 tsp sea salt.  Bring to a roaring boil, then reduce the heat down to a simmer for 25-30 minutes.  Check done-ness by tasting a farro grain.  The texture will be soft but slightly chewy.  Remove from heat and drain any excess liquid.  Alternatively, you can use your rice cooker!  Same amounts, just set and walk away.
  2. While the farro cooks, heat a large skillet to medium-high heat.  Add the bacon pieces and saute for 3-4 minutes, then add brussels sprouts in, along with 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
  3. Saute for 12-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes to cook evenly.  Cook until your bacon is crisped and the brussels sprouts are cooked through.
  4. Combine the cooked farro with the bacon and brussels sprouts.  Add the parmesan cheese and toss everything to combine.  Taste and add sea salt or pepper as needed.
  5. Serve with extra parmesan cheese!

Have you ever tried farro?  What is your favorite preparation for it?  Do you have another ancient grain you are curious about?  Let me know and maybe it will be the next featured grain!

Heather

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