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Jul 7, 2008 07:41 AM

ISO your best "grains" salads - scorching hot

It is scorching hot here in the midwest (finally). We will be doing a lot of outdoor grilling for suppper (meat or fish and veg). What I am searching for is your tried and true recipes for "grains" salads that I can make ahead and leave in the fridge for a few days as a light lunch or side.
Thinking of: couscous, farro, wheat berries and other grains.
Love mediterranean flavours and don't even mind adding grilled tuna steaks or shrimp to make a meal out of them.

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  1. Okay, I know that orzo is not a grain, but my go to salad is Orzo with Everything.

    1 Reply
    1. re: susan1353

      I agree that this is an absolutely fantastic salad. It's easy to sub quinoa or another grain for the orzo, if you're so inclined.

    2. I make a brown and wild rice salad with rice, almonds, cranberries, red pepper and green onion. The dressing is mango chutney zapped in the food processor and thinned with a little rice wine vinegar, water, and oil.
      It's based on a salad I used to get at my favorite bakery.

      1. Latest concoctions (mostly out of being completely lazy):
        * grilled zucchini (or European squash - the light green kind), grilled mushrooms, tomatoes, kasha, parsley-lemon dressing
        * wheat berries w/ steamed baby beets, beet greens, walnuts, feta, lemon peel, lemony dressing
        * wheat berries w/ lettuce, grilled peaches, balsamic & farmer's cheese

        1. Cooked wheat berries, feta cheese, cucumber chunks, red onion or scallions, Kalamata olives, red bell peppers ........ whatever catches your fancy or is in easy reach in the fridge. Lemon vinaigrette, some herbs and you have lunches for the week.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Sherri

            I love to make a greek quinoa salad that is very similar:
            Cook the quinoa per the box instructions, let cool.
            Add to cooled quinoa cut up cukes, tomatoes, bell peppers, (and any other veggie you have around-even if not traditional), pitted kalamata olives, sliced pepperocinis, and lots of delicious feta cheese.
            Make a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and oregano, salt(very little since the feta is pretty salty) and pepper.
            The flavors get better over time.
            You could add chicken, fish, gyro meat…really anything!

            1. re: Sherri

              Hi Sherri. Can you help me with your version of the lemon vinaigrette? I'm not good at tossing together dressings without measurements - I'd appreciate it if you can even approximate the quantities. Thanks! Stay cool!

              1. re: andersonnyc11

                Happy to help. My basic vinaigrette ratio is +/- 3:1, about 3 oil to 1 acid. For this lemon vinaigrette I use extra virgin olive oil and both fresh lemon juice and a bit of white wine vinegar. Squeeze enough lemons to make 1/3 C lemon juice, add enough white wine vinegar to bring the measurement up to 1/2 C total acids. Stir this into 1 - 1 1/2 C oil, add SPTT + herbs of choice. I find (dried) tarragon to be a great all-around herb choice. Add the oil in batches and taste as you go until you get something you like. Different lemons & vinegars have differing levels of acidity; olive oils have differing flavor profiles as well. Sorry that I cannot give you a cut & dried absolute. but tasting as you go is a great way to learn to trust yourself.

                This will keep, refrigerated, for a while - after a couple of weeks it will lose the fresh flavor that makes it special. Make it in smaller batches if you're not using it all. Store this in a jar so that a good shake is all you'll need to reconstitute it.

            2. Google Trader Joes Harvest Grain Blend and there are a bunch of recipes using this great product.

              I cook it in chicken stock until liquid is absorbed. I then add frozen petite peas and sliced (browned) smoked sausage. I dress it with red wine vinaigrette at serving time and serve at room temp. Wonderful.