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Two Summer Grain Salads

Two Summer Grain Salads | GRAIN

These two summer salads have earned permanent spots on our tables. Intense flavours from fresh herbs, cheese, and nuts are the perfect compliments to these hearty whole grains, and these recipes can be easily multiplied for summer gatherings. We can't think of a better way to eat, and share, grain.

Purchase our GRAIN Laird Lentils for this recipe 

Herbed Quinoa Lentil Salad:  

~ recipe inspired by Charlie Bird's Farro Salad

1/2 cup dry GRAIN Laird lentils, soaked for 4-12 hours
1 cup dry GRAIN Golden Quinoa
1 cup water (minus a tablespoon)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp good quality salt, more as needed
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup feta cheese (heaping), cubed fine
1/2 cup toasted pistachios, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, or almonds
1/2 cup parsley or basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
Maldon or other flaky sea salt, for finishing
Optional: 2 cups arugula leaves

To cook the soaked lentils, first drain and rinse them well with cold water. Put up in a steamer with plenty of water and steam for 30 minutes, or until tender. It is a good idea to turn the heat off after 30 minutes and let the lentils continue to steam in the pot with the lid on for a further few minutes if time allows*. Set the lentils aside to cool until the other ingredients are ready.

*You can prepare lentils this way and keep them in the fridge in a sealed container for up to a week - just toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil (to moisten) and season with salt to taste. Use to add protein to green salads, or to toss in your favourite grain salads or vegetable bowls.

In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa, 1 cup water - substitute 1 tbsp of the water with 1 tbsp of Apple cider Vinegar - to a boil with the lid on. Turn the heat to low once boiling, and simmer, covered, until quinoa is tender and the liquid evaporates, exactly 20 minutes. Turn off the heat once finished and allow quinoa to sit a further 10 minutes in the covered pot (this will ensure all of the liquid gets absorbed and the grains are separated and fluffy).

In a salad bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and the salt. Add cooked + cooled quinoa, the cooked lentils, feta and choice of nuts and mix well. This salad base will keep for up to 4 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator (bring to room temperature before serving). Just before serving, fold in herbs, tomatoes, arugula (if using) and flaky salt to taste.

You can use any nuts you like in this recipe: almonds, hazelnuts, or pumpkin seeds are all suitable. You can also use shaved Parmesan cheese instead of feta.

Epic Wheat Berry Chickpea Salad:

1 cup dry GRAIN Wheat Berries
4 cups cold water
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cooked GRAIN Kabuli Chickpeas
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Bosc pear, cut into one inch pieces
2 cups finely minced kale leaves (removed from stems)
1 heaping cup cubed feta cheese

1 minced shallot
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar

First put up the wheat berries to cook with 4 cups water, the salt, and the apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, and turn heat to medium high. Simmer (covered) for 45-60 minutes until round and plumping. The vinegar helps to soften the wheat so don't skip this step. If time allows, once the wheat berries have softened during the allotted cook time, you can keep them soaking in the cooking water (with the heat turned off and the lid still on) for up to an hour, as this will continue the softening process even further.

While the wheat berries cook, combine the dressing ingredients and mix with the cooked chickpeas to marinate. Prepare the remaining ingredients and set aside.

When the wheat berries are soft, drain and rinse. Allow to cool for a few minutes. When cool enough to handle, mix all of the ingredients together, tasting to adjust salt.

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