Israeli Couscous and Tuna Salad with Roasted Peppers, Olives & Basil
Farro Salad with Roasted Beets, Radicchio & Feta
Bulgur Salad with Kale, Salami & Olives
What to eat now: Healthy grain salads
We all know that we should be eating more whole grains. One quick way to do this is to make grain salads–like those featuring bulgur wheat, farro, and quinoa (which is technically a seed, but acts like a grain)–a part of your weekly menus. These super grains are high in fiber, contain good-for-you vitamins and nutrients, and some like quinoa and amaranth pack a complete protein punch. Grains are a breeze to cook and lend themselves to lots of different flavor combos. In fact, they’re a delicious vehicle for seasonal summer veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers, and beets. These grain salads will keep for several days in the fridge, making them an easy option for to-go lunches during the week, and fast dinner sides for busy weeknights.
Israeli Couscous and Tuna Salad with Roasted Peppers and Basil
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten
2 cups Israeli couscous (10 to 12 ounces)
2 (6 to 7 oz.) cans or jars Italian tuna in olive oil, drained and flaked
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 cup pitted black olives, chopped
1/2 cup jarred or homemade roasted red peppers, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the couscous and reduce the heat to very low. Cover the pot and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the couscous is just tender. Drain a colander. Meanwhile, combine the tuna, lemon zest, peppers, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl. Pour the hot couscous into the mixture and stir well. Cover and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, stir in the scallions, basil, juice of lemon, and more salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Farro Salad with Roasted Beets, Radicchio, and Feta
Adapted from Bon Appétit
6 to 8 medium-sized beets, tops trimmed
1 1/2 cups semi-pearled or quick-cooking farro or wheat berries
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons red-wine vinegar, divided
1 garlic clove, pressed or chopped
2 cups thinly-sliced radicchio or kale, or chopped spinach or arugula
1/2 up finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange beets in a single layer on a small baking sheet. Drizzle with vegetable oil, cover with foil, and roast beets until tender, about 45 minutes. Cool, trim beets, and peel. Cut into wedges and set aside.
Cook farro in a large saucepan of boiling water until tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes for semi-pearled farro or about 10-12 minutes for quick-cooking. If you use wheatberries, they will need longer–about 35 to 40 minutes until just tender. Drain and transfer to large bowl, Mix in 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and garlic into hot farro. Cool to room temperature.
Add beets, radicchio or other greens, onion, and parsley to farro, and toss to incorporate evenly. Whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil and 3 tablespoons vinegar in a small bowl. Drizzle over salad. Add feta and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or cold. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Bulgur Wheat Salad with Kale, Salami, and Olives
Adapted from Whole Food Market
2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cup medium-grind bulgur wheat
6 cups (about 1/4 pound) roughly chopped or shredded kale leaves (discard tough inner stem)
1/4 pound thinly sliced salami or prosciutto (optional)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped pitted olives (I used kalamata)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste
Bring broth to boil in a large pot. Stir in bulgur then cover and simmer until just tender, about 10 minutes. Uncover, scatter kale over the op, cover and cook until wilted, about 4 to 5 minutes more. Set aside off the heat, covered, for 5 minutes. Then uncover and fluff with a fork. Transfer bulgur and kale to a large bowl, and let cool down a bit. Add salami (if using), parsley, olives, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chill. Before serving, drizzle with a bit more balsamic and/or olive oil, if desired. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Tabbouleh is traditionally made with bulgur wheat, but to change things up try it with quinoa instead. Quinoa technically isn’t a grain–it’s a seed–but it’s delicious, nutty, and adds more protein to this Middle-eastern salad.
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
1 lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large English hothouse cucumber or 2 Persian cucumbers, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, and chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or 1 cup roasted cherry or grape tomatoes
2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup pitted black olives (like kalamata), chopped (optional)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
Bring quinoa, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread out quinoa on a large rimmed baking sheet or large bowl to let cool. Transfer to a large bowl; mix in half of dressing. Add cucumber, tomatoes, herbs, scallions, olives, and feta (if using) to bowl with quinoa; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle remaining dressing over. Makes 4 to 6 servings.