Confetti Grain Salad

 Confetti Grain Salad

I’ve been indulging a little too often recently. Ever since we kicked the summer off, it’s been non-stop on the grill with steaks, burgers, BBQ chicken and ribs. And if you’re having BBQ, you’re probably having a beer or two. While I’ve loved every minute of grillin’ and chillin’, I find myself in need of some superhealthy food this week to counteract my weekend splurging.

So, Sunday found me in my usual pose: sprawled out on a beach chair, reading the latest Gourmet magazine. I instantly bookmarked something they called Multigrain salad. Full of fresh vegetables and whole grains, I knew I would need that salad this week.

I tossed Spelt (a type of wheat berry) with diced peppers, carrots, cucumber and fresh herbs. A simple vinaigrette makes this a healthy, hearty and very tasty salad. If spelt sounds scary to you, substitute any other grain, or a combination of grains. Some suggestions: brown rice, wild rice, wheat berries, farro, spelt, or even whole wheat couscous or cooked bulgur wheat if you’re short on time.

This salad definitely hit the spot for me. The perfect cure for my overindulgent weekend.

Confetti Grain Salad
Adapted from Gourmet, June 2009. Feel free to use any grain here, or a combination of grains (just note that different grains may have different cooking times). Some suggestions: brown rice, wild rice, wheat berries, farro, spelt, or even whole wheat couscous or cooked bulgur wheat if you’re short on time.

For the salad:
6 cups cooked Spelt berries*, cold or room temperature
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 cucumber, diced (about 1 cup)
1 cup shredded or diced carrots
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. chopped dill
1 tbsp. chopped tarragon (or you favorite herbs)

For the dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Whisk the dressing ingredients together until well-combined. Set aside.

In a very large bowl, toss the salad ingredients together until well-combined. Drizzle with the dressing until evenly coated.

Serve or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Makes 4 entree-sized portions or 8 side-sized portions.

*To cook Spelt berries, combine 2 cups uncooked grains with 6 cups water. Bring the water to a boil, cover and reduce to medium-low. Simmer until the spelt is tender, but still al dente (about 1 – 1.5 hours). If you’ve got a pressure cooker, you can also cook the grains in there for 40 minutes or so.

8 Comments

  1. Beautiful and deliteful! I’m always looking for ways to use grains. This looks like it would be filling enough for a meal, just add some good bread (but not too much ;) ). Thanks! Can’t wait to try it!

  2. Smart! I’ve been trying to move us over to more salads, as well. I like this salad–the textures sound appealing.

  3. I find myself making a lot of ‘damage control’ lunches, too – might as well make something flavorful like this. I think I’ll try it out with some bulgur I have in the pantry.

  4. Thanks!

    Karen – Yeah, if I don’t damage control at lunch, I never will :)

  5. I have been trying to get more whole grains into my diet. Usually I love them but I have had a hard time with Wheatberries. Hopefully this recipe will change my mind! If not …I guess I will stick with bulgar.

  6. Mel,
    I just made a farro salad, which was new for me and loved it.
    I also experimented with freekeh and lentils, all good.
    I felt so much healthier after I ate them!

  7. Mamma Gwen says:

    Great-sounding recipe! I’m going to make it this weekend for my husband’s 40th birthday BBQ……it’s always good to have a few healthy choices WITH the various parts of pig! Can’t wait to try it……we love spelt, and maybe I’ll add in some quinoa for a nutty taste. And a big handful of whatever fresh herbs I find at the farmer’s market. Yum, thanks!

  8. Hot blog post. I’am not the one who often comment on an arcticle, but i require to know where you have your informations from?

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