A warmly spiced einkorn salad dressed in a middle eastern style za’atar and cumin-based vinaigrette. This beautiful winter salad with roasted carrots and parsnips, is tossed with nutty einkorn, fresh spinach, fresh herbs, toasted almonds and feta. Served warm or at room temperature this seasonal salad is oh so satisfying.
If you are looking for a new way to enjoy ancient grains, try using them in salads like this!
sliced carrots and parsnips on baking sheet
What is einkorn?
Einkorn is the most ancient form of wheat and the only one of its kind that hasn’t been altered from its original form. Hence it’s name, which literally means “one or single grain”. It has a delicious deep earthy, nutty flavor and chewy texture, which makes it a great choice for grain salads. It also is easy to prepare, as it cooked similarly to green spelt (Grünkern), spelt or barley.
Einkorn is rich in nutrition and easy to digest
This ancient grain is packed with good for you nutrients and has lower levels of gluten. It’s also produced in Germany and Austria, making it a good locally produced choice of grain.
Here are some reasons to explore cooking with this ancient grain:
- Its sensitive gluten structure makes it easier to digest.
- Can be an alternative for wheat allergy sufferers.
- Higher in protein and lower in carbs than modern wheat.
- Rich in B vitamins, antioxidants and essential minerals.
- Easy to prepare and has a delicious nutty taste.
How to adapt this einkorn salad recipe
Grain salads are a great way to transform a simple salad into something meal worthy. Since the grain is the base, they are also easy to adapt. You can skip the spinach and just use herbs. You can even scale this down to just parsley. Nuts can be swapped out for seeds or your other favourite. For a little more middle eastern flare, try pistachios instead of almonds. As for the spices, you could roast your vegetables with a sprinkle of ras el hanout for extra depth of flavor or harissa if you like a little heat. Or simple add a little to the dressing. And if you don’t have einkorn on hand, then try pearled barley, spelt or another ancient grain, emmer (also known as farro).
Try one of these delicious recipes:
- Roasted Flower Sprouts Salad with Spelt
- Grünkern Salad with Apple & Parmesan
- Warm Mushroom Barley Salad with Herbs
- Spelt Salad with Chicken, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Almonds
Einkorn Salad with Roasted Vegetables
Beautiful winter salad with roasted carrots and parsnips, is tossed with nutty einkorn, fresh spinach, fresh herbs, toasted almonds and feta.
For the salad:
- 1 cup einkorn, alternatively, farro/emmer or spelt (200 g)
- 3 medium carrots, peeled, cut in half or thirds, and cut lengthwise into pieces (300 g)
- 2 medium parsnips, peeled, cut in half or thirds, and cut lengthwise into pieces (300 g)
- 1,5 tablespoon olive oil, for roasting
- 2 generous handfuls spinach leaves, stemmed and thinly sliced
- 1 generous handful fresh mint, chopped
- 1/2 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup raw almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped (50 g)
- 75 g feta, crumbled (or more, to taste)
For the dressing:
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tsp za’atar
- pinch of cayenne powder
- sea salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C (180°C fan-assisted) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. .
Place einkorn and 2 cups of water (500 ml) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until water has been absorbed and einkorn is al dente. Drain excess liquid, cover with a lid and set aside. (Note: cooking time can be reduced if the grain is soaked in water overnight).
Place the carrots and parsnips on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and spread in an even layer, careful not to crowd. Roast for 20 minutes, then toss them in the pan, and continue roasting them for a further 10 minutes (until lightly browned and tender).
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, za’atar, cayenne, and salt).
In a large bowl, combine cooked einkorn, roasted vegetables, spinach, herbs and roasted almonds. Stir in most of the feta, leaving some for garnish. Pour over the dressing and toss to combine. Serve, garnished with the remaining feta. Enjoy!
- Za’atar and sumac can both be found online. Otherwise, check out your local Turkish market or speciality spice market. I often buy mine at the spice stand at my local farmers market.
For a relaxing atmosphere in the kitchen I recommend my personal Elle Republic: Chilled Out Kitchen Tunes Playlist on Spotify.
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