Ancient grains have come back into fashion lately as the superstars of plant-based eating. Just when you learned the proper pronunciation of quinoa, freekeh comes on the scene! A similar stand in, you can prepare it in the same way as rice, quinoa, or any other familiar grain. Exact cooking time may vary depending on whether you have the whole version or the cracked version, but plan on anywhere from 10-25 minutes. The cracked version is similar to quinoa while the whole version is more similar to bugler. Either way, one cup of dry freekeh yields about 3 cups cooked. Freekeh is a whole grain whether you choose the whole version or the cracked version, but it does contain wheat, so it is not gluten-free.

I use my most basic, go-to balsamic vinaigrette for the dressing on this easy spring salad. Take advantage of those early greens, it’s a great way to incorporate the bitters with the sweet taste of local honey in the vinaigrette. Using these different grains is also a great way to change up your regular routine, if only for the sake of variety! Try freekeh as a substitute in any of your summer grain salads.

purple cabbage
grape tomatoes
chic peas
broccoli (steam about 7 minutes)

Balsamic Vinaigrette
3 Tbsp. first pressed olive oil
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
2 tbsp. honey
1/4 tbsp. oregano
6 fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
(use a blender for best results)

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