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I’ll be honest, I am a total sucker for a salad. There’s something about a heaping bowl of greens that brings me copious amounts of joy. Yes, the title of my autobiography will be “Basic and Proud,” you don’t need to tell me. This salad is no exception to my undying love of veg-forward concoctions–bursting with sweet pomegranate arils, creamy goat cheese crumbles, and crunchy fried farro, this wintery wonder is perfect for your next dinner party. If you’re whipping this up for a cozy weeknight dinner, go ahead and toss in some grilled chicken or top it with a seared salmon fillet and call it a day.
To start, let’s chat about the crunchy morsels of joy that are scattered throughout this dish–crunchy farro! The first time that I tried a fried grain, I was immediately obsessed. This clever technique, which I learned from Ann Taylor-Pittman (she *literally* wrote the book on whole grains, check it out!) will work with any of your favorite cooked whole grains–farro, spelt, millet, quinoa, you name it. Drying out the cooked grain beforehand is imperative. Not only will this help to avoid excessive bubbling when frying the grains, the final product will be irresistibly crispy. If you’re up for it, I’d highly recommend frying more grains than you’ll need for this salad, as you’ll want to toss these crispy morsels on everything from soups to pasta to casseroles to snack mixes. Seal ‘em up in an airtight container and keep them in your pantry. If you do plan to fry more grains, just make sure to work in ½-cup batches, so as not to overcrowd the pot.
Now, for the greens in this salad, this is not your classic romaine number. As much as I love roasted or sauteed Brussels sprouts, I’ll be the first to admit that raw Brussels sprouts are intensely underrated. For the most enjoyable raw Brussels sprout-eating experience, there are two very important tips to keep in mind. First, make sure to shave them as finely as possible. Whether you’re trimming, halving, and slicing thinly with a knife or simply letting your mandoline do the work, it’s important to cut them up as finely as possible. Nobody wants to snack on a whole sprout, okay? Second, give ‘em a massage! Yes, I know. Sounds weird, but trust me, your teeth (and your digestive system…) will thank you. Breaking down some of the tough fibers manually will make the entire salad way more palatable. Toss the sprout shavings and kale with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and a little bit of salt, then get on in there. These greens aren’t going to massage themselves! Still not ready? Watch my video tutorial on how to get your sprouts salad ready!