lemon grain salad with asparagus, almonds and goat cheese

July 7, 2010

Lunch. I look forward to it so much everyday but it can be hard to think up new, exciting and healthy options everyday. That’s why I love making a massive batch of something and having some everyday.

In the winter, it’s easy: soups and stews! You make a giant batch and have some one day with a green salad, the next with some bread and butter, and so on.

Summer is a wee bit different. The solution? Grain salads. The emphasis is on grains because in my opinion there’s no easier way to beef (ahem) up a salad and make it properly filling than by adding in a magical grain. Beans and other legumes work too, of course but I’m sticking to grains here.

And no, I’m sorry, but lettuce, avocado and tomato a filling lunch does not make!

Here is an option that you can make ahead at the start of the week without fear of wilting or any other such nonsense.

Lemon Grain Salad with Asparagus, Almonds and Goat Cheese
adapted from The Kitchn

serves 6

  • 8 ounces uncooked wheatberries
  • 3 cups water
  • 8 ounces uncooked couscous
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced toasted almonds
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese, chilled and crumbled
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Cook the wheatberries in a large saucepan over medium heat, about one hour. Keep cooking and stirring until the grain is al dente and dry with no water remaining to be absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, simmer 1 3/4 cups water in a small saucepan. Add the couscous, stir, cover and turn to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes, then remove the lid and cook, stirring, until any remaining moistness evaporates. Mix the two cooked grains in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Snap off the ends of the asparagus and cut each spear into a 2-inch piece. Rinse out the large saucepan and dry. Heat a little olive oil over medium heat, and cook the asparagus until just barely crisp-tender – about 1-2 minutes. Add to the grains and toss.
  4. Also toss in the sliced toasted almonds, goat cheese and lemon zest.
  5. Mix the lemon juice with the oils, taste, and adjust. Pour over grain salad and toss, along with salt and pepper to taste.

This salad lasts very well in the fridge; perfect for multiple weekday lunches!

What’s your favourite summertime big batch lunch recipe?

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