Sweet Cheeks Farm Salad

24 Apr

tiffani farm salad

This month I am honored to present this Special Guest blog post from Ruth. Ruth and her boyfriend Chris are food people of the highest order. And I was very lucky that Ruth brought me a sample of this salad when we went climbing last week. Delicious- thanks Ruth!

From Ruth:

Here’s something unexpected: one of the best things on the menu at Sweet Cheeks, possibly Boston’s best BBQ joint, is a salad.  I say this not as one of those crunchy-granola types, but as someone who owns three rib racks and a home smoker.  It’s hearty, comforting, and just a little bit weird (grapes?!).  Plus, unlike a brisket, it comes together in less than half an hour.

The recipe can be modified pretty easily.  I made it once with Israeli couscous instead of farro (and it was great, but also a bit lighter and less filling), and I bet it would work well with wheat berries, too (Tessa’s rec; she’s a champ).  The classic version uses candied hazelnuts, but I sub in walnuts, because (a) I’m lazy to candy my own hazelnuts and (b) I wanted to keep in something crunchy, but like my salads a little less sweet.  If you’re not a nut person, some teeny tiny croutons would also do the job.

Recipe modified from Tiffani Faison (who I just might have a bit of a culinary crush on).

For the salad:

Makes 4ish dinner-sized servings

  • 1.5 cups cooked farro

  • 1.5 cup seedless red grapes, halved

  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, quartered

  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, leaves and/or shavings (keep the leaves that fall off the Brussels you quarter, and then either peel or shave the rest)

  • 5 cups baby arugula

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan

  • ½ cup candied hazelnuts or walnuts

  • Honey-shallot dressing (recipe follows)

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Toss the halved Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 15-18 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they’re charred but not burnt.

While the Brussels are roasting, toss farro, grapes, raw Brussels sprouts, and cheese together in a large bowl.  Wait for the roasted Brussels to cool to room temperature (you don’t want them to melt the cheese) and add to the bowl.  Toss everything with ¼ cup of the dressing.  Add the baby arugula, toss, and add salt, pepper, olive oil and/or additional dressing to taste.  Serve at room temperature.

For the dressing:

Makes about 2 cups (which is much more than you need)

  • 1 large shallot, chopped

  • ¼ cup champagne vinegar

  • ¼ cup honey

  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard (I used a teaspoon because I’m a little weird about mustard)

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

  • 1 cup canola oil

In a blender, combine chopped shallot, vinegar, honey, lemon juice, Dijon and salt.  Blend all ingredients until smooth.  Add oil in a thin stream until fully incorporated.  (We used an immersion blender for this part, and added the oil in parts–maybe ¼ cup at a time–to ensure that it emulsified smoothly)

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One Response to “Sweet Cheeks Farm Salad”

  1. jacobsjj1982 April 24, 2016 at 10:36 am #

    +1 to Ruth for owning a home smoker! things i never knew

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