Craving: Summery Grain Salads

Grain salads just seem so perfect to us right now. They're economical to make and satisfying to eat. Plus, we can make a big batch and eat the leftovers all week long. Which means less time heating up our kitchen and more time relaxing during these long summer evenings. Anyone else with grains on the brain out there?One of the things we love about grains is how versatile they are. Sautéing the grains in a little olive oil and onion before cooking gives the grains a nice toasted flavor. Most grains take on flavors very well, so even simply adding a bay leaf or some lemon zest while cooking can add new flavors. Tossing the grain with a little olive oil after cooking also adds flavor and keeps them from becoming sticky.

Then we can pair grains with almost anything. One of our favorites is simply mixing in some dried fruits and nuts. The leftover bits from last night's barbecue also frequently find their way into lunchtime grain salads, along with any other fresh veggies we have in the fridge.

Here are a few of our favorite recipes for inspiration:

Meyer Lemon Grain Salad with Asparagus, Almonds, and Goat Cheese
Reverse Tabbouleh
Golden Beet and Barley Salad with Swiss Chard
Wheat Berry Salad with Blood Oranges, Feta, and Red Onion Vinaigrette

Have you made a good grain salad recently? Please share!

Related: Salad For Dinner: 7 Additions to Make it Filling

(Image: Faith Durand for the Kitchn)

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