Monday, February 4, 2019

A very healthy Cypriot Grain Salad

This Grain Salad encapsulates all that is healthy and delicious, and as we are now being told in the best interests of our health and the planet to reduce our meat consumption and increase the amount of healthy grains, fruit and vegetables in our diet I thought I would give this one a try. If like me you haven't delved into the world of grain salads very much, this one is great to start with. I always have a variety of leftover grains, nuts and lentils in jars in my pantry so I already had most of the ingredients on hand. I chose quinoa as the main grain as I wanted to use what I had left, however cracked wheat, freekah (green wheat), or bulgur, would work equally as well.  This salad recipe isn't an original one, I have tweeked it a little bit, but it is a George Calombaris recipe which I had tasted at a luncheon recently and saved the recipe, so here it is. The coriander and parsley combined with the dressings bring it to life. However dear reader if you don't like coriander, then leave it out and  substitute something else.

Honestly, there are simpler versions of this salad out there, but toasting the nuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds brings out their unique flavours and crunch so for a special occasion this is worthwhile. It takes no time at all to toast the pumpkin seeds so my advice is not to leave the stove while you are toasting grains. I had a close call at Christmas time when I was toasting pine nuts in a small frypan on the stove for the traditional Wombok salad, got distracted by all the excitement, and well you guessed it, there were  a few burnt ones as a result. Mr. HRK very kindly picked them out for me, and life went on, however lesson learned. Has that ever happened to you?

 I prepared this salad on the day prior to us eating it, and then just garnished it with the Cumin Yoghurt Dressing and pretty pomegranate seeds just before serving it. The beauty of a Grain Salad is that even though it is dressed with a light salad dressing, it is still fresh two days later.

This went beautifully with my Mediterranean Chicken Marbella recipe and a green salad.

Chicken Marbella, a delicious tray bake

Cypriot Grain Salad


1/2 red onion finely diced
1 cup of quinoa (or freekah, bulgur or other grain)
1/2 cup Puy lentils
1 bunch chopped coriander
1/2 bunch chopped parsley
2 tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp. toasted slivered almonds
2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp. baby capers
1/2 cup currants
juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste
1 pomegranate, deseeded to serve

Cumin Yoghurt Dressing: - 

1 cup thick Greek yoghurt
1 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and ground (essential)
1 tbsp. honey


Boil quinoa and lentils separately  in boiling water until both are just cooked. Drain very well and allow to cool.

Place all the ingredients in a medium bowl, except the yoghurt dressing, and mix well. The yoghurt dressing can now be left covered in a jar in the refrigerator for a day if necessary. . Whisk the oil and lemon juice dressing in a small jar until it emulsifies, season to taste, and add to the grains.

Just before eating, place the grain salad in a serving dish and top with the delicious Cumin Yoghurt.

Garnish and decorate with pomegranate seeds.

I will be cooking fairly simple and tasty foods now, that don't take much time to prepare, as I have resumed writing my other blog,  the history of my Great Great Grandfather, Thomas Dudgeon,  who was a successful Landscape Artist in Scotland and Ireland.  Mr. HRK has been researching the genealogy of my family for a long time and finally I have decided to write it up as a blog, and who knows, maybe publish it at a later date. I really enjoy the process of writing, and am loving being able to write up  in Thomas's interesting life and also that of my Great Grandmother, Ellen Stella DeLandelles, who was his daughter. If you would like to take a peek at the latest post (no. 12) that I wrote this is the link: There is also a summary of it as a post that may be easier to read. I also need to do some work on the layout of the pages so that will take some time.

As I write this I am also thinking of all the residents in Townsville, 4 hours North of here by car,  who are really doing it tough with loss of power, serious flooding, and being isolated. This weather event is unprecedented in Townsville. Townsville is normally considered quite a dry area, and when we lived there for ten years in the 1980's, it was so dry and hot that many of us were sinking a water bore in our backyards. Rain has also started here in Mackay again so I am hoping that means the rain is moving south from Townsville or back out to sea. Time will tell. It's good writing weather, and shortly I will have a pot of chicken stock simmering on the stove. It's good soup weather while the rain lasts.

Best wishes my friends and I hope you have a safe and enjoyable week. Thanks for visiting.



  1. Both your salad and chicken look delicious, Pauline.

    I often make quinoa salad, but I haven't add roasted nuts or pomegranate seeds. I'll try adding nuts to my next quinoa salad. :)

    1. The extra steps take a little more time but the taste and crunch is worth it. Thanks Nil.


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