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herbed freekeh salad with avocado, pistachios and citrus vinaigrette

by Jackie Newgent  |  October 2, 2022  |  1 Comment

herbed freekeh salad with avocado, pistachios and citrus vinaigrette_with serving fork

What am I eating right now? This herbed freekeh salad with avocado, pistachios and citrus vinaigrette. I’m absolutely hooked on it — it’s got so many bright flavors, contrasting textures, and yummy things going on. Another cool thing about it is that you can use this as a recipe template and make it hundreds of different ways so you can match the season or use up what you have on hand just by varying the grain and produce picks. But when in doubt, simply make this recipe as is … it’s awesome!

herbed freekeh salad with avocado, pistachios and citrus vinaigrette_freekeh with scallions and dried apricots

How do you make the salad?

First, make the freekeh or grain of choice. I usually do this a day in advance and chill it. It’s pretty simple from there once you’ve measured out your ingredients: You’ll whisk up the citrus vinaigrette, stir in the chilled grain, then stir in the produce, and top with pistachios, cashew cheese, and orange zest. Yum!

herbed freekeh salad with avocado, pistachios and citrus vinaigrette_in mixing bowl

What are some swaps?

You may fall in love with this recipe as is and never want to change it. It is lovable! But here are a few options to consider if you prefer to vary up the recipe based on the season or what you already have:

Juice/Zest

  • Instead of: navel orange juice and zest
  • Try: blood orange, red grapefruit, or mandarin orange juice and zest

Grains

  • Instead of: freekeh
  • Try: farro, bulgur, barley, or quinoa

Fruits

  • Instead of: dried organic apricots or fig
  • Try: raisins, dried tart cherries, goji berries, or minced dried plums (prunes) – or desired amount of whatever fresh fruit you wish

Leafy Greens

  • Instead of: baby arugula
  • Try: baby spinach, mizuna, watercress, or baby kale

Herbs

  • Instead of: basil and mint
  • Try: parsley, chives, dill and/or microgreens  

Nuts/Seeds

  • Instead of: pistachios
  • Try: toasted pine nuts, sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, or pumpkin seeds

Cheese/”Cheese”

  • Instead of: soft cashew cheese or goat cheese
  • Try: crumbled plant-based or traditional feta or blue cheese

 

herbed freekeh salad with avocado, pistachios and citrus vinaigrette_toppings

How can you transform this into a main dish?  

The easiest way to enjoy this is an entrée is simply by eating two servings at once! The next easiest way is to just add chickpeas, white beans, organic edamame or seasoned roasted tofu cubes. Voila!

Print
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herbed freekeh salad with avocado, pistachios and citrus vinaigrette_with serving fork

herbed freekeh salad with avocado, pistachios and citrus vinaigrette

What am I eating right now? This herbed freekeh salad with avocado, pistachios and citrus vinaigrette. I’m absolutely hooked on it — it’s got so many bright flavors, contrasting textures, and yummy things going on. Another cool thing about it is that you can use this as a recipe template and make it hundreds of different ways so you can match the season or use up what you have on hand just by varying the grain and produce picks. But when in doubt, simply make this recipe as is … it’s awesome!

  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 teaspoons fresh navel orange zest, divided
  • 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed navel orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste, divided
  • 4 cups cooked freekeh, farro, or other whole grain of choice, chilled*
  • 2 ounces (1/3 cup) dried organic apricots or figs, finely diced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2.5 ounces (2 1/2 cups packed) fresh baby arugula
  • 0.5 ounces (1/2 cup packed) fresh herbs, such as basil and mint leaves, torn
  • 1 large avocado, pitted, peeled and cubed
  • 1/3 cup salted roasted pistachios
  • 3 ounces soft cashew cheese or goat cheese, crumbled (Tip: I used Treeline Dairy-Free Goat Cheese)

Instructions

  1. WHISK VINAIGRETTE: In a large bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon of orange zest, all of the orange juice, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, all of the olive oil, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt.
  2. STIR IN FREEKEH & PRODUCE: Stir in the chilled freekeh. Stir in the dried fruit, scallions, arugula, and herbs. Fold in the avocado and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  3. ADD TOPPERS: When ready to serve, sprinkle with the pistachios, cashew cheese, and remaining 1 teaspoon orange zest.
@jackienewgent

herbed freekeh salad with avocado, pistachios & citrus vinaigrette | It’s what I’m eating right now … & I’m absolutely hooked on it! 💚 The freekeh is so cool. The avocado & cashew cheese are luxurious. And the rest is simply yum! 😋 Try it! (See Whisk recipe link!) #freekeh #grainsalad #grainbowl #plantbasedbowl #vegansalad #avocado #pistachios #cashewcheese #plantbasedrecipe #plantbaseddiet #howto #meatlessmonday #brooklynfoodie #plantbased #plantpositivity #haveaplant #cookingvideo #girlswhogrub

♬ Cool Kids (our sped up version) – Echosmith

Notes

*Hint: I make this recipe with 1 (8.8-ounce) package dry 365 Whole Foods Market Organic Freekeh. It’s a quicker-cooking variety. Simply bring a large saucepan of salted water and the dry freekeh to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 13 minutes. Then remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes to complete the cooking process. Drain well, transfer to a glass dish, and let stand for 15-20 minutes to cool at room temperature. Finally, fluff the freekeh with a fork, cover, and chill until recipe time. I usually make this a day in advance for recipe use. (Makes 4 cups/19 ounces cooked freekeh.)

  • Author: Jackie Newgent
  • Category: salad, side dish
  • Cuisine: mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegan

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 230
  • Sugar: 4g includes 0g added sugars
  • Sodium: 360mg
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 31g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: salad, freekeh, whole grain, grain salad, grain bowl, salad bowl, vegan bowl, vegan salad, freekeh salad, avocado, cashew cheese, vegetarian salad

herbed freekeh salad with avocado, pistachios and citrus vinaigrette_final recipe

Looking for more whole grain salads? Then try my lemon-ginger farro salad with pomegranate & pistachios (recipe HERE), veggie scrap freekeh (recipe HERE), jasmine green tea grain & herb salad (recipe HERE), farro with california prunes, butternut squash and pecans (recipe HERE), and lemony herb farro salad with grilled zucchini and avocado (recipe HERE).

herbed freekeh salad with avocado, pistachios and citrus vinaigrette_with serving fork closeup

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