It’s nice to have a little bit of sunshine in the depths of winter. Here in Portland we can go for a month or more without seeing the sun break through the clouds. It’s one of the things I miss most about moving from California, I love living in Portland but the constant grey and rain has really been an adjustment. When I’m feeling really glum a nice bright hit of citrus can really lift my spirits.
Sweet juicy blackberries, tart citrusy kumquats and smoky freekeh make a satisfying and unique salad. If you’ve never tried freekeh you should see if you can track some down. It’s young green wheat that is harvested and roasted. Since it is harvested while it is young it ranks low on the glycemic index and it has three times as much fiber as brown rice and twice as much as quinoa.
Freekeh salad with blackberry ginger vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup uncooked freekeh
- 4 cups mixed baby greens
- 1 small head of fennel, core removed and thinly sliced, reserve the fronds for garnish
- 8-10 kumquats thinly sliced
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- 1/4 cup fresh mint
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
blackberry ginger vinaigrette:
- 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Add the blackberries, shallot, vinegar and ginger to a blender and process until combined. Slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil until the dressing emulsifies. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
In a small saucepan bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add the freekeh and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 40-45 minutes until the freekeh is tender adding more water as needed. (If you are using cracked freekeh reduce the cooking time to 20 minutes) Drain the freekeh and let cool.
In a large bowl combine the greens, fennel, blackberries, kumquats and mint and freekeh. Add a tablespoon of the dressing, taste and add more if desired. I like to lightly dress my salads so I only use a tablespoon or so. Top with the fennel fronds and pistachio and serve.