Ancient grain salad

A Hellenic Republic dish, this salad has a Middle Eastern flavour with the pomegranate, herbs and yoghurt. It is light but filling and the yoghurt dressing is creamy, spicy and slightly sweet. It also feels incredibly healthy to eat so it gets extra ticks from me for that.

It makes a great next day lunch as well. If you have some leftover, cover it in the fridge and don’t add the yoghurt dressing until you are ready to eat.

For dinner, I usually add some pan-fried chicken breast or grilled fish rubbed in spices (think cumin, coriander, ras-el-hanout etc). For lunch, I just eat it as it is.

Ancient grain salad

Ancient grain salad

Ancient Grain Salad

Recipe adapted from Hellenic Republic

Serves 4

1 bunch coriander, chopped
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 cup freekah (or cracked wheat or quinoa)
1/2 cup Puy lentils
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp slivered almonds
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp baby capers
1/2 cup currants
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp extra virgin olive
Sea salt to taste
1 pomegranate, deseeded, to serve

Dressing
1 cup thick Greek yoghurt
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tbsp honey

Method

Cook the grain you have chosen to use according to the packet instructions.  I usually use quinoa because we always have it in the house.  Once cooked, drain and place in a large salad bowl and leave to cool.  Cook the lentils separately in boiling water until just cooked.  I usually give the lentils an extra rinse under some cold water when they are done.  Toss them into the salad bowl with the quinoa.

Toast the pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds and pine nuts in a dry frying pan until the pumpkin seeds are popping and the nuts are lightly toasted.  Add them to the salad bowl with the quinoa and lentils.

Drain the baby capers and give them a quick rinse before adding them to the salad bowl along with the red onion, currants and pomegranate seeds.  Dress the salad with olive oil and lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Lastly add the fresh herbs and stir through.

Make the yoghurt dressing by mixing the yoghurt, ground cumin and honey until combined.

I like to serve this salad with the yoghurt dressing on the side and let everyone help themselves.