Once upon a time I never thought I'd utter the words "I could never tire of salads".
But for those words to apply it has to be a good salad. A salad with body, a salad with substance, and a salad that consists of more than just lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber and an overly oily dressing. Like this Grape, Almond and Mint Freekeh salad with Lemon Cumin Dressing.
My favourite types of salads are those that have a mixture of textures and flavours, and a great dressing that brings it all together in the most wonderful of marriages. For me a salad needs to have body and substance behind it (such as this roasted Moroccan carrot chickpea salad) as I just don't find a mixture of leaves and mainly water based vegetables satisfying enough as a meal.
Here I've used freekeh, but you could quite as easily replace the freekeh with millet, quinoa or even lentils. In fact my original intent for this recipe was to use lentils as the base, but it turned out I didn't have any so a box of freekeh that I needed to finish came to the rescue.
I envisioned this Grape, Almond and Mint Freekeh Salad as a side salad, which will serve 2, however I ended up eating it for lunch with the addition of chickpeas, which I seem to be completely addicted to of late and throw them in everything, and a cup of mint tea, and was completely satisfied.
- LEMON AND CUMIN VINAIGRETTE:
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ tbs extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup freekeh
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup red seedless grapes halved
- 3 spring onions finely chopped
- ½ medium lebanese cucumber sliced on diagonal and halved
- ½ cup radish leaves or rocket arugala
- ¼ leaves mint
- 2 tbs toasted flaked almonds
- salt and pepper
- Whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.
- Wash the freekeh under cold running water, drain and then place in a small saucepan. Add the water and bring to a boil before covering and reducing to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and leave to cool.
- Combine the freekeh, grapes, spring onions, cucumber, mint and radish leaves and toss well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to combine before scattering the almonds across the top. Serve immediately.