Crispy shallots, tart apple and parmesan fill out this hearty Grünkern salad recipe. It has all the elements for a perfect grain salad. Together with toasted almonds, peppery arugula and fresh basil it offers so many flavour and textural elements. Sweet, tart, salty, nutty and umami. And it makes a perfect side dish or meal on its own.
Grünkern: more than just a side dish
Anyone who follows my blog knows how much I love salads of all kinds — including grain salads. Grünkern (spelt grains harvested young, then dried and smoked) is especially a favourite choice. It has a nutty flavour and is a little sweeter than spelt. Plus, since it’s rich in protein and fibre, it makes a very meal-worthy salad. Even if its enjoyed as a side it pairs well with other salads. I like to serve it with a tomato and caper salad, as well as a simple potato salad for a plant-based meal that offers lots of different flavors. Otherwise, feel free to serve it like you would any other side dish grain.
Grünkern Salad Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what makes this Grünkern salad so darn delicious:
- Slow-cooked, slightly crunchy, fried shallots with a sweet, caramelised taste — what’s not to love?
- Peppery young arugula leaves with pair beautifully with salty, umami rich parmesan
- Sweet-tart apple for freshness and crisp, juicy texture
- Fresh summer herbs — basil and parsley for that essential fresh flavour
- Almonds, for crunch and extra nuttiness. Totally optional. This salad also tastes fantastic without them!
- And an apple cider honey-Dijon vinaigrette, to tie it all together. So good!
Love Grünkern and looking for more inspiration?
Try one of these Grünkern salad recipes:
Or how about a pilaf with spinach and chickpeas or vegetarian chili made with Grünkern? Otherwise, check out my recipe archive for more ideas.
Grünkern Salad with Apple & Parmesan
For the salad:
- 1 cup Grünkern (200 g) (alternatively use freekeh)
- 2 medium shallots, very thinly sliced (75g)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 generous handfuls young arugula leaves
- 1 tart-sweet apple, cored and diced (I like Braeburn)
- 45 g grated parmesan cheese
- 1 generous handful freshly chopped basil (3 tablespoons)
- 1 generous handful freshly chopped flat leaf parsley (3 tablespoons)
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted (25 g) (optional)
For the dressing:
- 2,5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus cooled oil from shallots
- 3 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar (unfiltered)
- 1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoon honey (I like Akazien)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a medium saucepan, combine Grünkern, in double the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 30 minutes (or according to package instructions). Transfer to a large bowl to cool.
In the meantime, make fried shallots: in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine oil and shallots. When the shallots and oil begin to bubble, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are golden and crisp and golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove shallots from oil with a slotted spatula (reserving the oil) and place on a paper-towel lined plate and season with sprinkle of salt. Set oil aside to cool.
Make dressing: in a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients, plus the cooled oil from the shallots. Whisk together to combine.
Add the crispy shallots, arugula, apple, parmesan, basil, and parsley to the bowl with the Grünkern. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to coat. Add the almonds and toss again. Serve and enjoy!
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