This Greek-style Grünkern salad with chickpeas features bold Mediterranean flavors (lemon, herbs, sweet red peppers, cucumber and feta), tossed with warm, whole grains.
The key ingredient to this salad, of course, is one of my favorite grains of late — Grünkern. And of course my favorite legume — chickpeas. Since this is one of my go-to weeknight salads, I like to use organic canned chickpeas, cause it just makes life easier. But feel free to prepare dried ones, they taste amazing!
Preparing dried chickpeas
When time allows, there are two methods I like to follow to cook chickpeas from scratch:
- Method 1: Long soak and simmer, about 10 hours or overnight plus 2 hours cooking
- Method 2: Quick soak and simmer, about 3 hours. This is great if you forgot to soak them overnight. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute, then cover and remove from the heat. Leave them to soak for 1 hour, then rinse and cook as you would if you had soaked them overnight.
Just remember, dried chickpeas will triple in size when cooked (if not a little bit more), so you will need less. Or feel free to make a batch and enjoy them all week. Cooked chickpeas will keep 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Greek Grünkern Salad with Chickpeas as the perfect side dish or main
This Greek Grünkern salad with chickpeas recipe works perfectly as a side dish or as a main meal salad, since it is also plenty filling. If you’ve never tried Grünkern before, this is a great way to get acquainted with this delicious grain. It has a mild, nutty flavor and a delicious chewy texture. It’s the perfect thing for upgrading salads so they can be enjoyed as a main meal. You can also swap out Grünkern for barley, spelt, freekeh, or even quinoa if you can’t find it at your local grocery or organic food store.
Greek Grünkern and Chickpea Salad
For the salad:
- 1 cup dried Grünkern (alternatively use Freekeh)
- 1 x 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cucumber, seeded and chopped
- 1 small red pepper or pointed pepper, chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 4 sun-dried tomato halves (packed in oil), finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers (in brine), drained and chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, about half a small bunch
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped dill
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted (25 g)
- 50 g feta cheese, crumbled
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the dressing:
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 clove garlic minced
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cook the grünkern according to package instructions; in double the amount of water for 30 minutes. Drain excess water if necessary and set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in a large serving bowl, add the chickpeas, cucumber, red pepper, red onion, sun-dried tomato, capers, parsley and dill.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, red pepper flakes and pepper until emulsified. If you prefer a sweeter dressing, feel free to add a little honey.
Add the warm Grünkern to the serving bowl and drizzle with dressing. Toss to combine. Add the pumpkin seeds and feta, toss again, and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve and enjoy!
A drizzle of balsamico creme is also nice over this salad. Kalamata olives can be used in place of capers if preferred.
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