Recently I heard about George Calombaris’ Hellenic Republic Cypriot Grain Salad and decided to give it a try for the book club gathering I was hosting. It was such a hit, I made it again at Easter, again another hit! This salad is really easy to put together, super delicious AND super nutritious. It’s a lot of ingredients, but every ingredient really adds to this salad, so much variation in flavour and texture. Don’t be put off by the ingredient list, it really does come together easily, I promise!!
Hellenic Republic Cypriot Grain Salad
For the Salad:
1 bunch of coriander
1/2 bunch of parsley
1/2 a red onion
1 cup of freekeh* (or cracked wheat/quinoa)
1/2 cup of puy lentils
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp of slivered almonds
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp baby capers
1/2 cup currents
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the dressing:
1 cup greek yoghurt
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp honey
Shred the parsley and coriander and leave aside
Toast the pumpkin seeds, almonds and pine nuts until fragrant.
Finely dice the red onion
Juice the lemon and leave aside.
Blanch the freekeh and the lentils separately in boiling water until both are just cooked. If you are using quinoa, cook as per packet instructions.
In a medium bowl place the coriander, parsley, red onion, freekeh (or cracked wheat/quinoa), lentils, toasted nuts, capers, currants, lemon juice and olive oil and mix well.
Mix the yoghurt, cumin and honey until combined, you can top it with pomegranate seeds if you like!
Season to taste and top with yoghurt dressing, or leave the dressing on the side whatever you prefer.
- I used quinoa for the salad. I tend to use the Origins brand of quinoa which you can purchase at Fairprice Finest or Cold Storage.
- Puy lentils and French green lentils. When I was purchasing this ingredients for this salad, I seared high and low but could not find them anywhere so I ended up with Boundulle cooked lentils in a can that I purchased from Market Place. As these were already cooked, all you need to do is drain them in a colander, rinse them and then add to the salad. As fate would have it, the very next day I saw the French green lentils for sale at Jones the Grocer in Dempsey and Little Farms in River Valley!
- As you don’t need large quantities of the nuts and seeds, go to Phoon Haut where you can buys small packets which are the perfect size for what is called for in recipe. You can also buy the capers and currants at Phoon Haut.
- I always but my flat leaf parsley from Fair Price Finest. The parsley from the USA is really tastey and fresh and also REALLY well priced. A bunch big enough for this salad will be between $2 and $3, much cheaper than Cold Storage or Market Place and really very competitive in relation to the wet market.