Spiced grain and kale salad

Spiced grain and kale salad

Good Better Green

This is a virtuous salad that manages to fill you up and taste great. If you don’t have ready-cooked portions of grains and lentils in the freezer (which makes this salad a whole lot easier to prepare), follow the instructions in the Note below. Use double quantities of quinoa, instead of the barley, if you are avoiding gluten. And feel free to use whole spices and grind them yourself.


Quantity Ingredient
knob butter
2 large onions, cut in half through the core, peeled and sliced
100g kale, tough stalks removed, chopped
pinch sea salt
1/2 tablespoon lemon, Juiced
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
400g mixture of cooked quinoa, pearl barley, brown basmati rice and puy lentils
35g raisins and/or dried cherries
70g raisins and/or dried cherries, roughly chopped
20g dill, largest stalks removed, finely chopped

For the dressing

Quantity Ingredient
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, grated zested
80-125ml kefir or stirred natural yoghurt
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the butter in a medium pan, add the onions and sauté over a gentle heat until they start to soften. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring regularly, until they start to caramelise, for about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put the kale into a big mixing bowl, add the salt, lemon juice and olive oil, then massage the leaves with your ‚ngertips for a few minutes, until they become soft and silky. Add the remaining salad ingredients and set aside.
  3. For the dressing, toast the spices in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until they become fragrant. Transfer to a jar with the rest of the dressing ingredients, with salt and pepper to taste, screw the lid on tightly and give a vigorous shake. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.


  • To cook the grains and lentils from scratch, soak about 45g each of the quinoa, barley, basmati rice and lentils separately in plenty of water overnight, then rinse each separately and start by bringing the barley and a large pinch of salt to the boil in four times its volume of fresh water. After 10 minutes (or 20 if you are using pot barley), add the lentils and rice, and after another 15 minutes or so, the quinoa. Cook for a further 5–10 minutes or until all the grains and lentils are tender, then remove from the heat. Strain o• any water, return the mixture to the pan and cover with a lid for a further 5 minutes.
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