Ancient Grain Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette

by Heather on May 18, 2011

I know I bake some pretty ridiculous things for this blog.  And let’s just say that my waistline has more than paid its dues for said baking.

We actually do eat pretty healthfully though.  Sometimes.  Most of the time.  At times.  Occasionally.


Here’s the big not-so-secret:  I actually love vegetables and really only like fruit when it’s baked into sugary buttery oblivion with things like chocolate and glazes.  Actually, let me rephrase:  I love fruit when it’s at its peak season, has no external defects, and yet is firm and juicy enough to match my ever-growing criteria for it.  Otherwise bake me a pie and call it quits.

Veggies on the other hand…serve ’em up!  I love grain salads and pasta salads with tons of vegetables basking in carb-loaded glory, especially when it involves a great dressing.  In fact I would venture to say that I crave them, especially come summertime when the thought of making homemade mac and cheese in our tiny non-air-conditioned kitchen makes me break out into crazy nervous sweats.  Standing over a hot stove is comforting and everything, but it seems as though comfort flies out the window when it comes to sweating in my food.

Call me crazy.  Or don’t.  Whatever.


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup ancient grains (I love farro, barley, and spelt berries…this one is make with spelt berries)
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup white beans (I made it with Great Northern beans, but chickpeas would be fantastic), cooked or canned/drained
  • 1/4 cup olive oil + 2 Tbsp, divided
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Follow the package instructions on the grain of your choice and boil til al dente (for the spelt berries it took about 30 minutes).  Drain and set aside.  In a saute pan heat the 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium low heat.  Saute the carrots for about 3 minutes, then add the onion and garlic.  Add the spinach and let wilt.  Add the beans and fold them in gently.  Remove from heat and fold in the grains.  Set aside.  In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, mustard, and honey.  Keep whisking and stream in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Pour over hot grain mixture and stir together.  Sprinkle with pecans.  Serve hot, room temperature, or cold…just make sure you serve it!

Speaking of crazy, I ate this for breakfast today too.  Turns out that kind of crazy is pretty fun 😉

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