Going full salad this week with a simple ancient grain salad. Add some fresh grilled salmon and it's not only filling but healthy and easy on the eyes too!
From start to finish, this salad only takes about 40 minutes to make, it feeds an army (should you need to) and is a great dish to make for your work lunches too!
What Are Ancient Grains
Sounds a bit mysterious, doesn't it? "Ancient Grains................." Ancient grains are described as grains that have been largely unchanged over hundreds of years. We include things like sorghum, quinoa, millet, barley and farro in this list. Examples of modern grains are wheat, corn and rice. These have been bred to grow faster, mill easier, and modified over the years.
Ancient grains are considered healthier than refined grain products, but you can get whole-grain products such as brown rice, whole-wheat bread and oatmeal, which offer very good nutritious values. Another factor in ancient grains is they are typically made without the addition of pesticides, fertilizers and irrigation.
Keep reading (or scrolling) to check out my delicious ancient grain salad.
A simple but very useful trick to have up your sleeve! Firstly you may wonder what I am talking about to segment an orange. Simply, it means cutting the orange into segments that remove the bitter pith and membrane. A cheffy technique that helps take your oranges pieces to another level when used as part of a salad or dessert.
- cut the top and bottom off the orange so it lays flat
- slice the peel from the orange using a sharp knife from top to bottom, curving with the fruit
- trim any remaining pith you may have left behind
- cut the orange segments (you will see where each individual piece is once peeled). do this by slicing in between the connective membrane down to the middle of the fruit.
- repeat on the other side of the segment and the orange should just pop out
- squeeze the remaining orange into a jar or bowl for your dressing, also squeezing any of the pith you previously sliced.
How To Grill Salmon
So, you are putting together a delicious ancient grain salad and want to take it up a few notches with some delicious grilled salmon but are a little worried as your fish tends to stick to the grill or not sure how long to cook it for..... here are my top tips to succeed
- oil and season the fish generously - always season your protein well before cooking
- bring the grill to temperature - this means to get it plenty hot! You can't test the temp of the grill, but you shouldn't be able to hold your hand above it for longer than a couple seconds
- once hot; oil the grill. I use a little rubber pastry brush and rub it with oil
- place the fish on the grill, reduce the heat to medium, and DON'T TOUCH IT!
- leave the fish for 2-3 minutes before touching it to allow the grill marks to form. This also allows the meat to firm up and not fall apart
- cook on the other side for a further 2-3 minutes.
Cooking times will vary depending upon the thickness of your fish -my fillets were 1.5" inches thick so if they are tailpieces, then they will cook quicker. Just always allow the first side to cook for 2-3 minutes before flipping to get the grill marks set!
Inspired by my ancient grain salad and feel like upping your salmon game? Check out these cracking alternatives to impress your family/friends with and keep your salad game strong 😉
- Grilled Poblano & Corn Salad
- Grilled Squid & Watermelon Salad
- Spicy Crab Salad
- Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad
Another beauty coming from Marty "Mont" Burns. Marty grew up picking grapes on his family's farm, where they grew Merlot, Sangiovese, and Shiraz. These grapes were initially sold to other winemakers, but in time, the family made their own wine.
Growing up around grapes and wine, it was only inevitable that Marty would be involved in the industry somewhat, and what better way to do it than making your wine!
All Mont wines are small-batch, single-vineyard wines with minimal intervention. Marty produces wines he simply loves to drink himself, and luckily for you and I, we get the opportunity to enjoy them too at a great price!
You guessed it - another belter from Mont wines is in the glass! This delicious ancient grain salad works so well with the Mont Sauvignon Blanc. Now, I know a lot of you are reading this and thinking, "not the dreaded Savvy B" but take it from someone who doesn't drink them more than, say once a year I can really get behind this one!
It's not your typical NZ one that we all had way too much of back in the early 2000s. You know the one that was poured by the glass EVERYWHERE and you had at every wedding or function you ever went to!
The Mont Sauvignon Blanc is made in more of a Fume Blanc style. Fume Blanc was pioneered in the US by Robert Mondavi. Taking a fresh, acidic wine with good minerality and tropical fruits and popping it in oak. Which, in Marty's case, is done to perfection. Just enough oak to take that biting acidity away but still leaving it fresh as can be!
Quoting a good friend (Ed) of TheCellarPost - "Sav B with a little substance"
It's crisp, still giving off that generous acidity but tamed by the use of French oak. Peaches, kiwi, and gooseberries (classic in SB) with a rich and textural feel on the palate. It's refreshing and easy to drink!
Happy Cooking & Happy Eating, Friends!!!
- 400 g salmon cut into 4 fillets
- 1 cup quinoa
- 100 g cherry tomatoes
- ¼ English cucumber
- ½ red onion
- 100 g rocket
- 50 g almonds
- 1 red chilli
- 2 oranges
- 1 avocado
- 60 g raisins
- 4 tbsp orange juice
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Chef Knives
- Chopping board
- large mixing bowl
- small mixing bowl
- measuring/weighing utensils
- grill pan
- Cook quinoa according to packet and allow to cool
- Slice the cucumber in ½ lengthways and cut into thin slices
- Cut tomatoes in ¼ or ½ depending upon the size
- Thinly slice onion
- Finely chop chilli
- Segment oranges – keep the peel/pulp to squeeze the juice for the dressing
- Roughly chop almonds
- Thinly slice avocado
- Mix all the grain salad ingredients together with the dressing and set aside
- Mix ingredients together
- Season the salmon and grill with a little olive oil for 2-3 minutes per side or until cooked through – salmon cooking time will vary depending upon thickness
- i used skinless salmon but you can use skin-on salmon or even substitute halloumi or chicken
- a tail end piece of salmon will cook quicker as it is thinner
- my salmon pieces were 100g in weight and about 1.5” thick
- allow fish to rest for a couple minutes before serving
- this salad will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge