If you are looking for a great salad that is light, but also filling, I have the salad for you. This Ancient Grain and Vegetable Salad is both of those things and so much more. You do not want to miss this amazing salad.
What Makes This Salad So Good?
Sure there are a million recipes out there for salad, but let me just tell you why this one is at the top of the list.
When it comes to my salads, I am a little picky. I like seasonal, crispy veggies, and I like a lot of them in my salad. While I like greens, over the years, I have decided I like more other veggies than just greens.
I also like to add a little more substance to my salads, and this is usually in the form of nuts and whole grains. If this is your kind of salad, keep reading for all the lovely details!
Generally, when I make a whole-grain salad, I use a high ratio of whole grains. This time I decided to use way more veggies than grains. I love them as a supporting role instead of the main role! It keeps the salad light but still filling.
- Greens- I used arugula, but you can use whatever is your favorite.
- Cucumbers- These are probably my favorite vegetables.
- Fresh Corn- I boil this first to cook it, then cut it off the cob.
- Tomatoes- This is a seasonal salad, so those summer tomatoes have got to be included.
- Bell Peppers- They made such a nice addition to salads.
- Radish- Not only do they add such a beautiful color, but I also really love that peppery crunch.
- Feta- You can add any cheese you like, but feta is a favorite of mine!
- Ancient Grains- I used Emmer in this salad, but I have a wide variety of grains I love to use. I am going to discuss this even more in-depth below.
The possibilities for this salad are endless. Add in whatever veggies or fruits you love!
How To Make This Grain Salad
I always start by cooking my grains. This takes the longest time, so I start with it. In fact, I normally batch-cook my grains, and then I have them on hand when I need them.
I have a whole post about cooking your whole grains in an Instant Pot. This is such a time saver and I recommend it.
Once the grains are cooked and cooled, prep your salad ingredients. This is pretty easy, just cut them up in the sizes you like.
If you are short on time, just know there are plenty of prepped options in the grocery store.
Last, make your dressing. I used an apple cider vinaigrette, which I will include in the recipe. You can also choose a store-bought dressing if you prefer.
This salad is best by adding the dressing at the end, just right before serving. You don't want your veggies to get soggy, and I feel this is best done with dressing at the end.
What Are Whole Grains?
I love whole grains and use them on a regular basis. They are something I am passionate about. I hope to spread the love of whole grains with other readers who visit my site!
Now, let's start with whole grains. They are unrefined grains and haven't had their bran and germ removed by milling.
In contrast to whole grains, refined grains are milled, a process that strips out both the bran and germ to give them a finer texture and longer shelf life.
These flours are chemically treated to produce these results.
What Are Ancient Grains?
In simple terms, they are grains that have been cultivated for thousands of years with no modifications from man. Meaning they are not hybrid or GMO.
Some examples of this are- Amaranth, Barley, Buckwheat, bulgur, chia, einkorn Farro (emmer), Freekeh, Kamut, Kaniwa, millet, quinoa, rye, spelt, and teff.
Also generally included in this category are heirloom varieties are also in this category. Examples are- Black Rice, Blue Corn, and Black barley
Grain Recommendations For Salad Use
I used Emmer Wheat for this salad. It is a favorite of mine to cook, and I use it often. It is actually a type of farro. Did you know there are 3 types of farro? Emmer is a medium-sized farro.
I love it because it is a tender grain but still gives you a light chewy texture as well.
If you are looking for other options, I also really love Einkorn as well. It is another ancient grain, it is short, tender, and delicious.
Oat groats are another great grain to use, especially oat groats. If you have never tried oat groats, try them! They are so good.
Other Whole Grain Recipe
- Pork Tenderloin Einkorn Bowl
- Gluten-Free Veggie Bowl With Oat Groats
- Steak Bowl With Emmer
- Greek Meatball Bowl With Farro
- Strawberries and Cream Einkorn Porridge
- Fruit and Nut Salad With Farro
- Vegan Graham Crackers
Ancient Grain and Vegetable Salad
- ¼ cup emmer
- ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup salad
- 2 cups chopped cucumber
- 2 cups tomatoes
- 1 cob corn you can also use canned or frozen (that is thawed). It was about I used.
- ½ cup feta
- ½ cup chopped bell peppers
- ½ cup pecans
- ground black pepper I like to dust the top of the salad with ground black pepper across the top.
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey or sugar
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- I like to cook my emmer in my instant pot. If you have one and want to do the same, it is simple. It is a small amount I use for this salad, but I like to batch cook. If you want to batch, it is 1 part emmer, to 2 parts water.
- Add the emmer, water, and salt to a pressure cooker. Seal the lid and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes.
- Do a quick release, then carefully remove the lid. If there is still liquid, turn the setting to saute.
- Once the emmer is cooled, start assembling the salad.
- Once the salad is together, make your dressing. I like to combine all my ingredients in a mason jar and shake well. Drizzle over the salad and mix gently.
- Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!