Whole Grain Salad

September 18, 2009

I would pick this salad over pasta salad any day. I got the recipe several years ago when I subscribed to a newsletter from the American Institute for Cancer Research. The newsletter stopped coming, but this recipe was a keeper! It’s colorful, tasty, and healthy.

Whole Grain Salad


  • For the mozzarella, I’ve used shredded and diced. I highly recommend diced; it’s much more satisfying to get a little cube of cheese in a bite than it is to get a couple of shreds.
  • You can, of course, switch the veggies to what you like and what you have on hand. The ones listed in the recipe make a really good combination though.
  • This is the first time I used quinoa in this salad; in the past I always used couscous. It’s delicious either way, and I’m sure the other grains are delicious too. (8/6/10 correction: I just found out that what I thought was quinoa is not! I think it’s actually Israeli couscous; I have yet to try it with quinoa, but I think it will be good.)
  • Instead of mint, cilantro, or chervil, I used chives and basil because that’s what I have growing in my herb garden.
  • The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup finely chopped dried fruit, like  apricots, raisins, dates, figs or currants. I omitted that because as much as I love dried fruit, I don’t always love it in savory dishes.

Whole Grain Salad

1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 tomato, seeded, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup chopped radish
2 scallions, green and white parts, or  1/4 cup chopped red or Bermuda onion
2 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts, sesame seeds,  or sunflower seeds, or chopped  almonds, walnuts, or pecans
3-4 oz. diced low fat mozzarella cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to  taste, if desired
3 cups cooked (and cooled) brown rice, or whole-grain pasta, or couscous,  bulgur, or quinoa
Juice of 1 lime
1 1/2-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh (or 2 tsp. dried) chives or flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp. finely chopped (or 2 tsp. dried) fresh mint, cilantro, or chervil

In a large bowl place the bell pepper, tomato, radish, scallions or onion,  nuts or seeds and cheese.  Mix lightly.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fluff the cooled grain with a fork and season it to taste with salt and pepper.  Add the grain to the bowl of salad ingredients and mix it in lightly with a fork.

In another bowl whisk together the lime juice, oil and herbs.  Drizzle over the salad and mix in lightly.  Serve or refrigerate, covered, up to 2 days.

Makes 6 cups.


  1. This looks so delicious Jill!! Do you have an amazon.com wish list? If you do can you e-mail it to me. I’d like to send you a copy of the flat bread book. I think you’d really like it.

  2. Wow – that looks so good – and I just so happen to have a bag of quinoa in the fridge. It makes such a nice change from pasta – not that I don’t love pasta, mind you!

  3. This salad looks so delicious! Lots of flavors and textures going on! A feast for the eyes as well as the mouth!!!!

  4. Mmm! That sounds good. I’ve got lots of bulgur and quinoa, but don’t really know what to do with it. This sounds perfect!

  5. Stealing this one right now. This looks fantastic…thanks for the recipe. BTW, I agree, I like a little cube of cheese (even if it is tiny) in a salad like this rather than shredded cheese…like finding a little treasure b/c I love cheese!

  6. This is definitely our kind of salad – love the whole grains!

  7. YUM. Looks delicious and nutritious.

  8. I could live on salads such as this, Jill! So satisfying …

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