Photo by Ann Maloney for The Washington Post
Here, a handful of sunny, fresh ingredients — flecks of sweet carrot, earthy parsley and refreshing mint — brighten up tender whole grain, while toasted sesame seeds amplify its nutty taste. The result is a springy salad that’s as versatile at it is satisfying. Serve it with some roasted chicken or lamb kebabs, topped with an egg or two, or as part of a mezze spread.
Make Ahead: The grain may be cooked and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance.
1 cup (7 ounces) uncooked freekeh, farro, barley or quinoa
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
1 cup coarsely grated carrot (from 1 large carrot
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cook the freekeh (or farro, barley or a grain of your choice) in salted boiling water according to package directions, until al dente. Drain any excess liquid and refrigerate until the grain is chilled, at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.
In a dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast the sesame seeds, stirring often, until golden and fragrant and beginning to pop, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, combine the cooked grain, sesame seeds, carrot, parsley, mint and lemon zest into a medium bowl and toss until mixed. Add the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and gently toss to coat.
Makes 6 servings
Serving size: 2/3 cup
Per serving: Calories 178; Total Fat 7g; (Sat Fat 1g); Protein 5g; Carb 24g; Fiber 6g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 138mg; Total Sugar 1g