Tabbouleh-inspired Ancient Grain Salad

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I’m always looking for new ways to use different types of grains, especially those that collect around the house when you’re not quite sure how to use them. I based this salad on standard tabbouleh, one of my favourite things to eat. Mediterranean foods are my biggest inspiration in cooking, and I knew that if I worked with those flavours that I love, the various untested grains would taste delicious no matter what. Thankfully I was right!

I didn’t use a recipe, so there are no exact measurements here. It’s all about tweaking to the taste that you like. I used a combination of Purple Barley, Farro, Forbidden Rice and Red beans (ok, not a grain, but a nice protein compliment) and found them to be a really great combination in both taste and texture.

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Tabbouleh-inspired Ancient Grain Salad

Farro, Purple Barley, Forbidden Rice and Red Beans (equal parts, say 1/2 cup each dried)
Cherry Tomatoes and Cucumbers (equal parts, a few handfuls of each)
Parsley and Mint (equal parts, a few handfuls of each)
Garlic (3 or more cloves)
Olive oil
Lemons (I used Meyer lemons, right off the tree. I used several, though fewer may be required based on size and acidity)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Boil Farro, Purple Barley, Forbidden Rice and Red Beans seperately, until cooked. Do not boil them together , as their cooking times are all different. Allow to cool. Chop Cherry Tomatoes and Cucumbers into medium-small chunks. Chop Parsley and Mint somewhat roughly (not too finely,  but not leave whole leaves either). Mince Garlic. Mix all these things together. The colours from the Purple Barley and Forbidden Rice should bleed into the salad, turning it a rich red-wine hue.  Add several dashes of olive oil. Squeeze lemons into a bowl, making sure to remove all seeds. Add to mixture, though not all at once. You’ll want to test to see how much you of the lemon you want. You may want to add more olive oil too. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve by itself or as a compliment to a Mediterranean inspired meal — perhaps with hummus and pita.

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