Fonio Salad with Strawberries and Peppery Greens

published Jul 29, 2022
Fonio and Strawberry Salad with Peppery Greens Recipe

Fresh summer strawberries toss with peppery greens, cucumbers and fonio

Serves2 to 4

Prep10 minutes

Cook5 minutes

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strawberry salad in a bowl on a wooden table
Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Greg Lofts; Prop Styling: Carla Gonzalez Hart

I have a tendency to make way too much fonio — which isn’t a bad thing at all, as it’s so versatile. One of my favorite ways to utilize the leftover grains is to throw it into a salad. Cooled fonio soaks up dressings really well without becoming mushy or soggy. And though I admittedly ain’t the biggest fan of fruit in my salads (they’re usually too sweet!), this recipe with strawberries and kiwi is one that I enjoy.

I helped alleviate much of the syrupy sweetness by making a tart vinaigrette from lime juice. Its acidity balances out the fruit, while the herbs and peppery greens complement all the flavors and bring everything together into one bright, crispy, crunchy meal.

Because fonio is already high in protein, this is perfect for a vegan or vegetarian option, but it would also be very delicious with grilled chicken or fish.

Credit: Photo: Chris Simpson; Food Styling: Greg Lofts; Prop Styling: Carla Gonzalez Hart

Have extra fonio? Incorporate it into breakfast to make fluffy fonio pancakes.

Fonio and Strawberry Salad with Peppery Greens Recipe

Fresh summer strawberries toss with peppery greens, cucumbers and fonio

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 5 minutes

Serves 2 to 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1/4 cup

    fonio, such as Yolélé

  • 1 teaspoon

    vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup

    water

  • 1/4

    medium English cucumber

  • 4 ounces

    strawberries (5 to 6)

  • 2

    medium kiwi fruit

  • 1/4

    small red onion (optional)

  • 2 1/2 ounces

    feta cheese

  • 3 to 4 sprigs

    fresh basil

  • 2 sprigs

    fresh mint

  • 2 1/2 ounces

    peppery salad greens, such as arugula or watercress (about 2 1/2 cups)

For the dressing:

  • 1

    medium lime

  • 1/2 cup

    extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Place 1/4 cup fonio and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add a pinch of kosher salt and stir to combine. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 1 minute. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let sit, covered, for 4 minutes.

  2. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate while you prepare the remaining ingredients and dressing.

  3. Prepare the following ingredients, adding each to the same large bowl as you complete it: Trim and halve 1/4 medium English cucumber lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.

  4. Prepare the following ingredients and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Slice 1/4 english cucumber (about 1/2 cup). Hull and thinly slice 4 ounces strawberries (about 1/2 cup). Peel and thinly slice 2 kiwi fruits crosswise. Thinly slice 1/4 small red onion (about 1/4 cup). Crumble 2 1/2 ounce feta cheese (about 1/2 cup). Pick the leaves from 3 to 4 fresh basil sprigs until you have 1/4 cup and tear into bite-sized pieces. Pick the leaves from 2 fresh mint sprigs and tear into bite-sized pieces.

  5. Add the fonio and 2 1/2 ounces peppery salad greens (about 2 1/2 cups) and toss to combine. Refrigerate while you make the dressing.

Make the dressing:

  1. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lime into a medium bowl. Juice the lime into the bowl (about 2 tablespoons). Add 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk until combined.

  2. Drizzle about 1/2 of the dressing over the salad and toss until evenly coated. Serve with the remaining dressing.

Recipe Notes

Fonio: This recipe can also be made in the microwave by placing everything in a microwave-safe bowl, covering it but leaving a small air vent, and microwaving for 2 minutes.

Make ahead: The dressing can be made and the fonio can be cooked and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead in separate containers.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days if not dressed, or 1 day if the salad is already dressed.