Multigrain Salad

do you remember when I told you all about that awesome multigrain salad I had with Marcy at Elie’s in Birmingham a little while back? well, I haven’t been able to get it off of my mind, so I went into the kitchen and set to making a copy-cat recipe. I was successful on the first try, even! I should probably head out and grab a lottery ticket.

MULTIGRAIN SALAD

Ingredients:
– 1 bunch fresh spinach (about 4 c, heaping)
– 1/4 c chickpeas
– 1/3 c quick-cooking pearl barley
– 1/3 c mixed sprouted lentil
– 1/3 c mixed sprouted quinoa
– 1 1/2 to 2 T pesto
– 1 T garlic-infused olive oil (or regular)
– 1 1/2 to 2 T lemon juice
– 1/2 Roma tomato, diced (optional)

Directions:
1. Prepare chick peas, barley, quinoa, and lentil (probably in that order). Some require soaking before cooking in water. Follow package directions for preparation.
2. Drain grains and allow them to cool to at least room-temperature.
3. Prepare spinach by sorting out any undesirable leaves and cutting long stems. If unwashed, submerge in a large bowl or pot of water and then shake off vigorously to remove dirt.
4. To make the dressing: in a small dish, combine the pesto, olive oil, and lemon juice. This should not be added until just before you’re ready to serve the salad, so it can be set aside in the fridge or just on the counter, depending on your time frame.
5. Add the grains and spinach to a bowl or container that will be large enough to toss the dressing and not make a mess. add the dressing and toss. a closed container is easiest because you can shake it for faster coverage.

Notes:
– I like to cook the grains ahead of time and have this as a fast meal option or a quick side for when guests come. it also breaks down into about 4 large servings for me to take to work for lunch. Quaker brand barley can sit in the fridge for up to 2 weeks after cooking. Quinoa and lentil last a little over a week. Chick peas last about a week. Nice, fresh baby spinach lasts about a week.
– I used dried chick peas, not canned chick peas. These require an 8-hour soak in water before about an hour of cook time. I am not sure how canned chick peas would work out, but it’s worth a shot.

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