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November 29, 2012

Mediterranean Grain Salad

Mediterranean Grain Salad

I really love the versatility of a grain salad.  This version comes from Sandy who taught me the yumminess of this kind of dish.  It's great as a side dish, a main dish, to take to a pot luck, and keeps for a couple of days easily in the fridge.  This version was especially yummy!
You start with 6 cups of cooked grains - whatever you might have on hand.
I had made couscous (not actually a grain) and brown Basmati rice before and froze them to use later.  So I pulled out some of each and defrosted them.
But you could use any grain, or combination of grains including rice, quinoa, barley, couscous, etc.
Once I was ready to make this dish, I heated the rice and couscous in the microwave for a couple of minutes to take the chill off and combined them in my large mixing bowl. 
To my mixed grains I added a can of chickpeas (rinsed & drained), a jar of Kalamata olives (drained), chopped scallions, a chopped cucumber and fresh basil.  I mixed it all up together and seasoned with garlic powder, Kosher salt, and black pepper.

Because I wanted the boys to eat this dish as well, I didn't add tomatoes to the dish, but halved some cherry tomatoes for David and me to top ours with.  If you have tomato lovers at your house, you can incorporate the fresh or sun-dried tomatoes in your grains with the other ingredients.
Then I added bottled Balsamic vinaigrette, tossed the salad together, and served it alongside my other dishes for dinner.
The grain/vegetable/herbs/vinaigrette combinations are endless, but I liked this Mediterranean flair.
If you wanted to, you could also add any additional protein like other beans, meat, cheese, tofu, fish, or shrimp.
Double click to print as a 5x7 recipe card.

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