The keys to making a great composed grain salad are proportions (grain to greens), flavour combinations, and vinaigrette. The beautiful thing about this type of salad is that the combinations are endless. You can build your salad based on what combinations you like, or simply based on what you have on hand.
Here are some guidelines for you to think about when building a greens and grain salad:
- When planning a composed grain salad, make sure you have thought about and imagined the taste and texture that you are going for.
- When building the “yum”, think about flavours that go together (ie. beets, orange and goat cheese; apple, butternut squash and pinenuts; brussel sprouts, maple syrup and bacon).
- Or, think of themes or cultures such as Southwestern, Thai, Mediterranean or Asian and pull the “yum (aka flavouring components)” and vinaigrette from there.
- A good ratio to follow is 2:1 greens to grain. The “Yum” is extra.
- Mix together the “yum” ingredients, and then add the grains and greens so that it visually looks right. Elements can be dressed separately or all together.
- Remember, beets will bleed. Add them in the end.
In the end you want to build a salad that is healthy and filling, and full of the ingredients that you enjoy. Don’t like squash? Don’t put it in. Vegan? Omit the cheese. Remember, it’s your salad you are making, not mine.
*FICKLE FAMILY TIP* Have all of the ingredients ready “salad bar style” and let your kids build their own. Your kids will have fun and will enjoy having some say over what’s served. It will also give you added insurance that they will actually eat what’s put in front of them!!