George Calombaris, well known Australian celebrity chef (how I dislike those words), is in the news for all the wrong reasons right now. But his food is very very good. This Grain Salad is delish, and I have my twitter sister, Jude, to thank for pointing me to it.
It is divine, and perfect for this changeable Spring weather. It is perfect one day, then the weather gods drag us back into mid Winter weather the next. A transitional season.
This recipe uses freekeh, but other grains can be used – couscous, quinoa, barley, burghul, for example). It is one of the best uses of freekeh and du Puy lentils that I know. The flavours in this dish are just right and balance well. It is sweet, sour, tangy, crunchy, soft, earthy, herby, and healthy.
Similar recipes include Citrusy Beetroot with Puy Lentils, Red Rice and Quinoa Salad with Orange and Pistachios, Freekeh Pilaf with Herbs and Yoghurt Dressing, Green Beans with Freekeh, Walnuts and Tahini, Crushed du Puy Lentils with Cumin and Tahini, and Du Puy Lentils with Feta and Tomatoes.
Cypriot Grain Salad
1 bunch coriander leaves (cilantro), chopped
0.5 bunch parsley, chopped
0.25 red onion, finely diced
1 cup freekeh
0.25 cup du puy lentils
2 Tblspn Pumpkin Seeds, toasted
2 Tblspn slivered almonds, toasted
2 Tblspn pine nuts, toasted
2 Tblspn capers
0.25 cup currants
sea salt to taste
1 pomegranate, seeded
1 cup thick Greek yoghurt
1 tspn cumin seeds, toasted and ground
juice of 1 lemon
3 Tblspn extra virgin olive oil
dash red wine vinegar
1 Tblspn honey
Soa the freekeh and the du Puy lentils separately for at least 2 hours. Drain them well.
Cook the freekeh and du Puy lentils separately, until both are just cooked. Drain and allow to cool.
Make the vinaigrette with the olive oil, sugar, lemon, honey and cumin. Set aside.
Mix the yoghurt with a little salt and the cumin powder.
Reserve a few pomegranate kernels.
In a bowl, mix the coriander, parsley, red onion, freekah, toasted seeds and nuts, capers, currants and pomegranate seeds.
Add the vinaigrette, mix well and season to taste.
Serve on a beautiful platter, topped with Cumin Yoghurt and reserved pomegranate seeds.
recipe notes and alternatives
Use pomegranate molasses with or without the pomegranate kernels. Mix it into the vinaigrette.
Add goji berries (soft ones, not too dried), and/or soft dried cranberries.
Sultanas or raisins will be fine if you don’t have currants at hand.
Toss a little chopped mint through the salad as well. If you have those flat chives, chop and scatter them in the salad.
Green pistachios make a great garnish.
The lentils can be soaked and cooked the day before.