Grain Salad – healthy & delicious

This Cypriot Grain Salad by Hellenic Republic is really delicious and definitely healthy.

As I do with most dishes, I’ve tweaked the recipe just a little by adding wild (black) rice for extra goodness, and the zest and juice of one orange for some extra zing!

Oh…and this version is gluten free, making it lighter on the tummy and a must for family Sunday dinners at my place!

This salad not only tastes great, it’s full of goodness and very satisfying. It has a great balance of flavours and textures, with fresh herbs, nuts, seeds, grains, and the burst of sweetness from the tiny ruby jewels – the pomegranate seeds. This Grain Salad makes a great option as a side dish or meal by itself. This Grain Salad is easy to make, but does take a bit of preparation time so I make it in large quantities to have leftovers for work lunch. Unfortunately for me, it doesn’t seem to matter how much I make, my family love it so much that there is rarely any left over … unless I hide some away before serving it up 😊

Go on, give it a try, you’re sure to love it!

What you need

  • 1 bunch coriander, washed and chopped
  • ½ bunch parsley, washed and chopped
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup black wild rice
  • ½ cup Puy lentils (French lentils)
  • 2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp toasted roughly chopped natural almonds
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp baby capers
  • ½ cup currants
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 pomegranate, deseeded (see tip below)


  • 1 cup thick Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 tbsp honey

What to do

Cook rice, quinoa and lentils separately in boiling water until just tender (follow the instructions on the packet)

Drain well and allow to cool.

Place the yoghurt, ground cumin and honey in a small bowl and mix until combined. Store in the fridge until serving.

In a medium bowl, place the coriander, parsley, red onion, rice, quinoa, lentils, toasted nuts, pumpkin seeds, capers, currants, orange zest and juice and olive oil. Mix well and season to taste.

To serve, pile the salad into a serving dish and sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds.

For the yoghurt dressing, either make a well in the centre of the salad and pour it in, (which will impress your guests) and mix through at the last table, or serve it in a separate bowl, for your guests to add as much or as little as they wish for themselves.

Remember, a healthy body is a healthy mind and this salad is great body and brain food that I’m sure you’ll love.

TIP: I have found the easiest way to deseed pomegranates without making a huge red mess or losing most of the seeds, is:

  1. Place a medium sized bowl in the sink.
  2. Cut the pomegranate in half horizontally.
  3. Put the pomegranate, seeds side down in one hand with your fingers slightly apart over the bowl.
  4. Use a rolling pin or wooden spoon to bang the top of the pomegranate. The seeds should drop into the bowl without the white pith.
  5. Repeat with other pomegranate half. Store any left-over seeds in a ziplock bag in the freezer to use another time.