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Alicia Walter's farro, Brussels sprouts, and pecorino salad recipe

A whole-grain salad with harmonious flavors.
Will Budiaman

Chef Alicia Walter of New York City's Eataly shares a perfect fall/winter salad that is hearty enough to serve as a main course for two, or a substantial starter for four. Farro, if you've never had it before, is an ancient Roman grain that is a form of wheat, with a chewy texture and a nutty flavor.


For the dressing:

  • 2 T white-wine vinegar
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 T mustard seeds
  • ¼ c + 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad:

  • 2 T shallots, finely diced
  • Pinch of salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 c farro
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
  • 1 qt Brussels sprouts, halved
  • ½ c dressing
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz pecorino Monte Sibilini, grated
  • ½ c walnuts, toasted


For the dressing:

1. In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients, and whisk. (This dressing is best if allowed to sit for at least 1 hour before serving.)

For the salad:

1. In a medium stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

2. Add the shallots and pinch of salt. Once the shallots are soft, add the farro and enough water to cover by 2 in. Season with salt, to taste.

3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the farro is soft but still has texture.

4. Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle with enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan, and add the Brussels sprouts cut-side down. Season with salt, to taste. When caramelized, toss, and continue cooking until soft.

5. Mix the farro and Brussels sprouts together, and add the dressing while the mixture is still warm. Season with pepper, to taste, and top with the walnuts and cheese.

Serves: 4

Suggested wine pairing: Perticaia, sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG 2009

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