The warm weather often leads to cravings of fresh, produced-based dishes. But a bevy of bright vegetables doesn’t always leave us completely fulfilled.
Here are three of our favourite grain-based salads, loaded with fresh vegetables and fruits, and filling enough for a light meal.
Mediterranean Millet Salad
1 1/2 cups dry millet grain
2 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
2 cups fresh green beans, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1 cup thinly sliced roasted red pepper strips
3/4 cup feta cheese (omit for vegan alternative)
1/4 cup minced chives
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cook the millet according to package directions with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Let cool.
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the beans and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Let cool for about 2 minutes, then drain well.
After the millet has cooled, mix it with the green beans, olives, roasted red peppers, parmesan, and chives. Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, oregano, Dijon, pepper, and remaining salt. Toss over the salad. Serve immediately or keep chilled until serving.
Fruity Quinoa Salad
1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 apricots, chopped
2 purple plums, chopped
1/2 cup tart dried cherries, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside to cool. Once cool, toss with remaining ingredients. Serve immediately or keep chilled until serving.
Peach, Cucumber, and Peanut Rice Salad
1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup chopped peaches
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped salted roasted peanuts
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
Whisk the lime juice and zest, oil, sugar, and some salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Add the rice and remaining ingredients. Serve immediately or keep chilled until serving.