Tag Archives: grains

Old Is New Again

I love grain salads. They are visually appealing, nutritious, and satisfying. We eat a lot of tabbouleh, and salads made of wild rice, and quinoa. I discovered a new grain recently called Einkorn. It is the oldest known grain on earth. Einkorn is easier to digest and contains more protein and antioxidants than modern wheat. It can also be used by individuals that are gluten free. I say it’s a win, win. Personally, I love the chew and texture of this ancient grain. Although I enjoy this particular salad with Einkorn grain, you can also use spelt, kamut, regular wheat berries or quinoa. The choice is completely up to you, but you owe yourself the chance to enjoy this delicious ancient grain.

GREEK EINKORN SALAD

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups raw einkorn berries, soaked overnight, rinsed, drained and simmered in salted water for 30 minutes or until soft but still chewy. Let cool completely.
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

FOR THE GREEK VINAIGRETTE:

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dark balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons local honey
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. To make the vinaigrette, place all the ingredients in a pint jar and shake vigorously. You can also place all the ingredients except your oil in a bowl, and slowly whisk in oil until emulsified.
  2. Place all your salad ingredients in a large bowl, except for the feta cheese. Pour vinaigrette over ingredients and stir to combine. Refrigerate a couple of hours.
  3. Place grain salad in attractive bowl and top with feta cheese.

Serves 6-8

“In the end, the world returns to a grain.”
― Dejan Stojanovic

A Big Bowl of Yummy

When we’re busy on the farm in the summer, it’s good to have some go-to salads that can be made in advance, and eaten over several days if need be. This a riff on tabbouleh, a Lebanese salad from the Middle East, made primary with bulgur and parsley. Bulgur is made from parboiled or steamed wheat kernels/berries that are then dried, partially stripped of their outer bran layer, and coarsely ground. The result of this process is a highly nutritious grain that cooks relatively quickly. There might be as many recipes for tabbouleh as their are cooks. The ratio of fresh parsley to bulgur is one of the reasons.

Traditionally tabbouleh is made with bulgur, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, parsley and mint. Since we are vegetable farmers, I like to load mine up with additional ingredients like radish, grated carrot, and chickpeas. I also like to use a little more bulgur than they might use in the Middle East, making it packed with fiber rich whole grain, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.

Although most recipes call for a medium-coarse, or #2 bulgur, I like to use a fine bulgur or #1 for my tabbouleh. If you enjoy a more chewy grain, use the #2 medium-coarse. Either way, 1 cup dried bulgur will yield 4 cups cooked bulgur. I buy my fine bulgur from a Middle Eastern grocery store. At any rate you can adjust proportions and ingredients to your personal preferences, however non-traditional it may be. Just don’t omit the bulgur or fresh parsley altogether. Tabbouleh, although best when fresh, will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

BRICKYARD FARMS TABBOULEH

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup bulgur, #1 or #2
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced 1/4 inch, then quarter slices
  • 4 green onions, sliced using both white and green parts
  • 6-8 radishes, sliced
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and shredded on large holes of box grater
  • 1 large bunch curly parsley, chopped
  • 6-8 large mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (quality matters here)
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. If you are using fine or #1 bulgur: Place 1 cup bulgur in large bowl. Boil 2 cups of water and pour in over the bulgur. Let rest for 10-12 minutes. Fluff with a fork. I like to place it in the refrigerator for about an hour to cool it down. You can also just let it cool in the bowl.
  2. If you are using medium-coarse #2, place 1 cup bulgur in a heavy pot and add 2 cups water, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (optional). Bring to a boil, then turn down to low and cover. Cook for 12 minutes. Take of heat and let stand for 10 minutes more. Fluff with a fork. Let cool to room temperature or place in refrigerator for one hour.
  3. To the cooled bulgur add your halved cherry tomatoes, cucumber, green onions. radishes, chickpeas, grated carrots, chopped parsley and mint.
  4. In a separate bowl or pint mason jar, mix together the lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil. Mix with a whisk, or shake vigorously to emulsify. Pour 1/2 of dressing over tabbouleh. Mix thoroughly. Add additional dressing just before serving.

Serves 6-8

“What is more refreshing than a salad, when your appetite seems to have deserted you?” –Alexis Soyer