These hearty salad recipes include bulgur salad with lightly roasted vegetables and quinoa salad with pickled radishes and feta.
Food & Wine
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Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Pine Nut-Kasha Granola & Ricotta
“Everyone adds nuts to salad, but I wanted to do something different,” says Justin Smillie. He tops crisp snap peas with a savory granola that includes pine nuts and kasha. Ricotta adds another layer of texture; Smillie makes his own cheese at the restaurant, but good-quality store-bought fresh ricotta is also delicious.
Quinoa Salad with Grilled Scallions, Favas and Dates
"One thing I've learned as a chef is not to overfeed your customers—a food coma is very unpleasant," says Charlie Parker of Plum restaurant in Oakland, California. This salad of grilled spring vegetables feels just filling enough, thanks to the protein-rich quinoa and a puree of dates that are grilled first to soften them and intensify their natural sweetness.
Barley is versatile enough to be served warm or at room temperature, as in this terrific salad with walnuts, parsley and salty bits of ricotta salata cheese in a lemon-garlic vinaigrette. It can be served as a main course or as a side for grilled chicken or pork.
Marco Canora says you can swap in any starch (like bread or pasta) for the farro (a nutty Italian grain) in this recipe. Canora simmers farro in water with sautéed onion, carrots and celery. The aromatic vegetables add delicate flavor to the cooked grains.
"I love to make this salad with my son," says Mehmet Gürs. "It's so easy and it can get quite messy, which is fun for a four-year-old." The healthy cracked-wheat salad contains diced, just-tender roasted carrot, red onion and bell pepper, and little pieces of cucumber. Gürs also stirs in tomato paste, which adds richness and sweetness.
Giuseppe Tentori's quinoa salad is a delightful mix of cucumber, thin green beans, parsley and feta. What makes it special is that Tentori pickles the radishes in red wine vinegar and sugar before tossing them into the salad, where they add a puckery crunch.
Chef Art Smith of Washington, DC's Art and Soul restaurant loves to toss whole grains, like farro, into his green salads to make them more substantial. In addition to farro, try this salad with wheat berries, spelt or barley. Most farro is slightly pearled (the white starch shines through the brown hull), so it cooks quickly. If it's not, it may take longer to cook.
Bulgur (a quick-cooking form of whole wheat) is usually boiled before it's eaten, but for this terrific main-course salad, Melissa Rubel Jacobson simply softens it in warm tap water before tossing it with baby spinach and precooked shrimp.