Cypriot Grain Salad with Lemony Yogurt

Cypriot Grain Salad with Lemony YogurtLocal food in Cyprus draws inspiration and flavors from all around the Mediterranean. Greek, Turkish, Italian, French, and Middle Eastern influences all contribute to Cypriot cuisine. Meze, a spread of small dishes, is a popular way to dine in Cyprus, and this grain salad makes a perfect base to build your meze around. Freekeh, an ancient grain with a similar texture and taste to bulgur, has nearly four times the fiber of similar grains, and ample amounts of vegetarian protein. Nuts and lentils also boast healthy amounts of vegetarian protein, making this salad an excellent filling option if you’re avoiding the gyros and kebabs so prevalent in Cyprus. The tart pomegranate seeds, tangy yogurt, and citrusy lemon give this salad a bright, summery flavor that’s delicious on its own, or as an accompaniment for grilled seafood or meat.

Ingredients:           

  • ¼ cup of chopped fresh coriander
  • ¼ cup of chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • ½ red onion, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup cooked Freekeh, cooked per package instructions
  • ½ cup of cooked lentils
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon baby capers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried currants or cranberries
  • 2 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Drizzle of honey
  • ½ cup Pomegranate Seeds

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, cumin, honey, and ½ tablespoon lemon juice. Taste, and add more honey if needed, and season with a bit of salt and black pepper.
  2. To make the salad, in a large bowl combine the coriander, parsley, mint, onion, Freekeh, lentils, seeds and nuts, capers, currants, remaining lemon juice, and olive oil. Toss well combine, and season with salt and pepper. Add a bit more lemon juice if it needs more acidity.
  3. To serve, top the salad with the pomegranate seeds, and serve with the yogurt sauce alongside.
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About The Author

Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website: www.elizabethpalmerkitchen.com

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