elevating the status of the salad

Category Archives: grain salad

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After a recent encore viewing of Forks Over Knives, several of us were inspired to cook some plant-based foods last night. On the menu were spicy peas, sweet corn salad with cucumbers and tomatoes, and this grilled corn, zucchini, and bell pepper salad with black beans and barley. Thanks for Oh She Glows for this recipe. If you dice instead of chop the vegetables, you can have more of a relish/salsa for chips. Because everything is better on a chip. 

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 3 bell peppers (any color–I used a few beautiful purple peppers that turned an unappetizing gray after grilling)
  • 2 zucchinis, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 6 ears of corn, husk removed
  • 1.5-2 cups cooked black beans (or one 15oz can)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked wheatberries (I used barley since that was available)

Dressing:

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (2 limes) I’m sure lemon works too
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro (or herb of choice)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (or other sweetener)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

 Directions:

1. Preheat the grill over medium heat. When it’s ready add the corn, rotating every few minutes. After about 10 minutes, add the zucchini and bell peppers. No need to chop the peppers, you can leave them whole. Grill for another 10 minutes, rotating frequently, until lightly charred.

2. Meanwhile, cook your grains on the stovetop (if using them) according to package directions. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and adjust to taste.

3. When vegetables are done on the grill, cool, and then remove corn and chop the peppers and zucchini. Mix the drained and rinsed beans, grains, dressing, and vegetables together in a large bowl. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper, to taste. Will keep for a few days in the fridge.

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This is a basic tabbouleh recipe that does not require a lot of ingredients. If you are looking for more of a meal, check out my tabbouleh with chicken and tahini recipe here. This week, we got a lot of parsley from the CSA, and tabbouleh is my favorite way to use it all up. Thanks to Simply Recipes for the original recipe. I revised the amounts when I made it myself. Feel free to increase the herbs and decrease the bulgur or the other way around, depending on the ratio you prefer. (I like more herbs when eating it with pita, more bulgur when eating it as a stand-alone salad). Do you have another favorite recipe that highlights parsley? Send it along!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  •  1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 5-6 Roma or plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (I used about a cup of mixed tomatoes, including cherry tomatoes–but I left the seeds in the little guys)
  • 2 scallions, chopped, including the greens
  • 1 1/2-2 cups parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

Directions:

  1. Place the bulgur in a medium sized bowl. Bring water and the teaspoon of salt to a boil, pour it over the bulgur. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, bulgur and mix well. Add in all the other ingredients and mix to combine.
  3. Taste the tabbouleh, and add more salt, olive oil or more lemon juice to taste. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Will keep chilled for several days.

 


Thanks to Local Roots NYC CSA for posting this recipe from Kitchn. Here is my adapted version of it. Clearly, I’m on a lemon yogurt kick. I made the farro a day in advance to cut the prep time tonight. With that prep out of the way, the salad took me about 15 minutes to make. 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup farro
  • 2 cups water
  • salt
  • 1/2 pound peas, shelled
  • 2 baby leeks, white and light green parts only, thoroughly washed (I like to soak it them in a bowl of water a few times)
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt (I used Stonyfield Organic Low Fat)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • black pepper

 Directions:

1. Soak the farro in water for 30 minutes. Then, rinse and strain. Bring farro, 2 cups water, and salt to a boil. Then, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until water is absorbed and farro seems to be a good consistency. (I just keep tasting it to see if it is the right chewiness for me, which last night was about 30 minutes). Then, spread the grains out on a rimmed baking sheet and allow to dry for an hour or so, stirring once or twice so the grains dry all around. You can store the farro overnight in an airtight container.
2. Prepare a small bowl of ice water. Boil water in a small pot, and add peas. After 30 seconds, remove peas with a slotted spoon and immerse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain peas.
3. Slice leeks in half lengthwise, and then chop into 1/2 inch pieces. Saute leeks in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until soft.
4. Prepare dressing in a large bowl: whisk yogurt, remaining olive oil, lemon juice, and a some freshly ground black pepper.
5. Add farro, peas, and leeks to the dressing, and stir to coat. Enjoy!

Last week, Fishkill Farms was offering pasture-raised lamb at the Carroll Gardens Farmers Market. As relatively novice meat eaters, we were unsure what to order. We went with the lamb sausage. We picked it up this morning, and made this salad this evening. I got the recipe from the Whole Foods app, and it’s spicy and delicious! 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/3 cups pearl couscous (also known as Israeli or Middle Eastern couscous)
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • Zest and juice from 1 large lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 lamb merguez or other lamb sausage links
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and quartered
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Directions:

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add couscous and cook, stirring frequently, until toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir in water and salt and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until water is absorbed and couscous is just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

2. While couscous cooks, whisk together lemon zest, juice, remaining 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Remove 2 tablespoons dressing and set aside for basting.

3. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Grill sausages and peppers, basting with the reserved 2 tablespoons dressing and turning frequently. When sausage is cooked through and peppers are tender, 10 to 15 minutes, remove from grill. Slice sausage into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and peppers into bite-size pieces. Put in a bowl with couscous. Toss with olive oil-lemon dressing and parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature.


This recipe comes from Food and Wine’s March 2012 issue. The kale, carrots, and garlic came from the Carroll Garden’s farmer’s market. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice
  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • Salt
  • 1 head of broccoli—stems peeled and sliced into coins, heads cut into small florets
  • One 12-ounce bunch kale, large stems discarded
  • 1/4 cup tahini, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts (I omitted these)

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the brown rice with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the rice is just tender, about 40 minutes. Drain and return the rice to the saucepan; keep covered.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and simmer over low heat until the quinoa is tender and all of the water has been absorbed, 20 minutes.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the carrot and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the shiitake, cover and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the zucchini, season with salt and cook, stirring a few times, until tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Add the broccoli, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until deep green, 5 minutes. Add the kale, cover and cook, stirring a few times, until the broccoli and kale are just tender, 4 minutes. Season with salt. Stir in the other vegetables.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the tahini with the lemon juice, garlic, warm water and crushed red pepper. Season with salt.
  6. Transfer the brown rice and quinoa to bowls. Top with the cooked vegetables, diced avocado and bean sprouts (if using). Serve, passing the tahini sauce at the table.

This recipe from Cooking Light’s September, 2011 magazine was great for dinner and then even better for lunch the next day. I’ll admit that my “drizzle” turned into more of a thicker sauce. It may not have looked as pretty, but it tasted delicious. For those who missed the memo: yes, I am eating meat. I can hardly believe it still myself. To make this vegetarian, use chickpeas instead of chicken. The recipe called for chicken thighs. I got this chicken at Forager’s in DUMBO, where they get all their meat locally. They also only have chiken breasts, so I used those instead.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked bulgur, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chopped tomato
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
  • 1/4 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water

Preparation

1. Combine 1 1/4 cups water, 1 cup bulgur, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes (do not stir) or until the liquid almost evaporates. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Place bulgur in a medium bowl; let stand 10 minutes.

2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Sauté for 4 minutes on each side or until done; shred chicken. Combine bulgur, chicken, tomato, and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl; toss gently.

3. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, tahini, and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over salad.


I like to pack my lunch for work, but get tired of sandwiches. As an easy alternative, I will sometimes make a hearty salad to have a few bites of as part of dinner, and then take some to go for lunch the next day. Thanks to Food and Wine magazine’s August 2011 issue for this recipe. You can substitute pretty much any large grain for the Israeli couscous (such as freekah or coarse bulgur). Do you have any other creative lunch ideas? Post them below or send me a message! 

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups packed arugula (6 ounces)
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous (12 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pints small tomatoes (cherry or grape), halved
  • 4 yellow or orange tomatoes, cut into 1-inch dice

Directions:

  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the 6 cups of arugula and blanch for 10 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the arugula to a colander. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking, then drain thoroughly.
  2. Add the Israeli couscous to the boiling water and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until it is al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the couscous and spread it out on a large baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to prevent it from clumping. Let the couscous cool to room temperature.
  3. In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, tossing, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Squeeze the excess water from the blanched arugula and coarsely chop it. Transfer the arugula to a food processor. Add the pine nuts, garlic, cheese, and 1/2 cup olive oil and process until the pine nuts are finely chopped. Season the arugula pesto with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer the couscous to a large serving bowl and stir in the arugula pesto. Gently fold in the tomatoes.