If you’ve been around my blog long enough, you’ve no doubt noticed that my posts are quite seasonal (and often begin with a mention of the weather, which got quite cool last week, then warm again, and has evened out now). As a result, there tends to be a theme over the course of any given few weeks. Stone fruits in the summer, greens and such in spring, and right now? Apples.
I love the start of apple season. There is something about a Honey Crisp apple at the end of summer that is so different from a Honey Crisp that’s been in storage for months. And there are other apples available that don’t tend to be put up for later in the autumn/winter, which makes them such a treat to enjoy.
In a nod to the coming cool weather, I was craving a heartier salad. I had some whole freekeh in the cupboard, just asking to be used. While I’d contemplated a tabbouleh style preparation, using some of the last cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden, I just could not resist the juicy, crisp apples in my fridge. Fruit in salad is a favourite of mine, and with the miso maple dressing, the whole thing came together better than I could have hoped.
Freekeh is new to me. It’s green wheat that’s been roasted. It can be found whole or cracked, and cooking times vary accordingly. It is incredibly high in fibre, and boasts a good amount of protein and nutrients as well. If you can’t find it, substitute your favourite whole grain, though it’s worth seeking out as it’s quite tasty.
Whole Grain and Apple Salad with Maple Miso Dressing
1 cup whole grain of your choice, cooked and cooled
1/2 cup dried cranberries, plumped in a little warm water and drained
1 medium apple, unpeeled, diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
small handful flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon white miso
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons vinegar (cider is preferable)
1 tablespoon neutral oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, miso and maple syrup. Blend in the vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly to emulsify the dressing.
Add the salad ingredients to the bowl and toss them together gently. Check for salt and pepper and season to taste. Let the flavours blend in the fridge for a few hours before serving.