Potluck Grain Salad

Once a month I get together with a group of food loving girlfriends for dinner. We take turns hosting the meal at our homes, and each month we pick a different theme for dinner. Saturday we were at my friend’s Amy’s house and she picked  “Summer Party Food” for the theme. As always there was lots of good food, but one dish stood out. Karin, another friend, made a salad made based on this recipe http://eating-made-easy.com/2014/05/31/corn-salad/

Karin changed some of the components of her salad based on what she had. She used Israeli couscous (basically pasta) instead of grains, omitted the corn, and used cilantro instead of basil. The salad was delicious and complemented everything else on the plate.

I made the salad last night and I used some of the vegetables I got in my CSA share this week, kale, basil, garlic scapes, and peas. I had some strawberries in my garden so I used those. Any of the salad ingredients can be substitute for whatever is in season, or what you have on hand. The dressing seems really basic, but it hits all the right notes for balance.

This is hearty, travels well, keeps well, is versatile, is good for you, and delicious! What more could you ask for in a salad? I wish I took a picture of Karin’s salad, it looked totally different than mine.

Basil topped salad

Here is the recipe as written, with my changes to the side.


  • For the Salad:
  • 3 cups cooked grains (I used faro)
  • 1 English cucumber, seeds removed and sliced into thin half moons (I used peas)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (I used strawberries)
  • Kernels from 3 ears of cooked corn on the cob (I used shredded kale)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion (I used about 1/4 cup of chopped garlic scapes)
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional, I didn’t use any cheese)
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup  whole milk yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 3 Tbsp honey (I used less, like 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper


  1. In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients.
  2. Add the grains, cucumber, onion, basil and corn kernels and gently toss together.
  3. Gently fold the blueberries and goat cheese (if using) into the salad and taste for seasonings. Add more salt & pepper, or more lemon juice if needed.

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